Oklahoma State Suspends Boggan For Head-Butting Incident

Wednesday, February 28th 2007, 6:10 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ Oklahoma State coach Sean Sutton suspended leading scorer Mario Boggan on Wednesday for a head-butting incident in the Cowboys' 84-70 win against Kansas State the previous night.

``After reviewing the film numerous times, there's no question that Mario used extremely bad judgment in head-butting Cartier Martin,'' Sutton said in a statement. ``Our program has been built on class and good sportsmanship through the years, and we're certainly not going to condone this kind of behavior.''

Sutton suspended Boggan, the Big 12's second-leading scorer behind Texas' Kevin Durant, for the Cowboys' game Saturday at Baylor. He said he also called Kansas State coach Bob Huggins to express his regrets for the incident, which occurred in the final minute of the game.

``I asked him to relay my apologies to Cartier and that I wish him the best during the remainder of his senior season,'' Sutton said.

After Kansas State's Blake Young fouled Oklahoma State's Byron Eaton to stop the clock with 38.1 seconds left, Boggan walked from near midcourt toward Martin, who was handing the ball to an official in the lane. Boggan bumped the crown of his head into Martin's left cheek, and Martin responded by swinging his left arm toward Boggan's head. He did not connect.

Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg issued a statement saying the suspension ``sends a clear message that this kind of action is unacceptable.''

``We appreciate the support of the university in taking a strong stand relative to our sportsmanship policy and consider the matter to be closed,'' Weiberg said.

Boggan, who had been honored before the game as part of senior night festivities, also issued an apology.

``First off, I would like to apologize to Cartier Martin and the Kansas State Wildcats,'' Boggan said. ``Last night's game was a hard-fought game and shouldn't have ended the way it did.

``I would also like to apologize to my teammates, my coaches and the Cowboy fans. This is not the way I would like to be remembered on Senior Night, and it's certainly not the way I was taught to play basketball. I feel bad that my mother was in the crowd and saw this in person. I have apologized to her as well.''

Boggan, who averages 20.1 points and 7.9 rebounds, scored 17 points as Oklahoma State ended a four-game losing streak in a crucial win to keep its dwindling NCAA tournament hopes alive.

``This is a statement of what Sean Sutton stands for and I applaud his decision,'' Oklahoma State athletics director Mike Holder said. ``The actions of our players are more important than a game.''