Eastern Illinois’ top scorer will be disciplined “internally” after he tried to hit a fan in a loss Thursday, according to the school.
Late in the first half of Eastern Illinois’ 80-67 loss at Lindenwood, guard Kinyon Hodges — per a video of the incident — walked up to a fan sitting in the front row at Hyland Arena and swung at his face. The fan and another man sitting next to him immediately pointed to a ref who stopped the game. Hodges was hit with a technical foul, but he was allowed to remain in the game. It’s unclear from the video if Hodges, who leads the team with 13.8 PPG, actually made contact with the fan or what led up to the incident.
Hodges scored two points in 24 minutes as Eastern Illinois suffered its eighth loss in nine games. The team is 7-17 in the second year under Marty Simmons.
Per an Eastern Illinois statement, Hodges let his “emotions get the best of him.”
“We are aware of the incident that occurred during the first half of our men’s basketball game at Lindenwood [Thursday],” EIU athletic director Tom Michael said in a statement. “As an athletic department, Eastern Illinois prides itself on good sportsmanship. We do not condone this type of behavior by our men’s basketball team or any of our 500 student-athletes.
“The issue has been addressed with both the player involved for EIU as well as the Ohio Valley Conference with any disciplinary action to be handled internally. The player in question understands that this is not the type of behavior displayed by our student-athletes or our men’s basketball program and in the heat of the moment let emotions get the best of him. This will be a learning moment moving forward and we apologize to anyone who may have been adversely impacted by the incident.”
Hodges is in his first year at Eastern Illinois after he played the last three seasons at Three Rivers College, a junior college in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. He joined a program that has achieved one winning season (2019-20) in the last nine years.
Simmons said Hodges is remorseful for his actions Thursday.
“I spoke with the young man this morning and he is extremely sorry for his actions at [Thursday’s] basketball game,” Simmons said in a statement. “This is not in the character of this young man. Even though he did not make physical contact with the fan, he understands the seriousness of this and regrets that his actions have negatively impacted the view of not only himself but the Eastern Illinois program.”