Chapman College women's basketball Coach Brian Berger, who had plenty to say after last month's loss to Cal Poly Pomona in the Division II Western Regional championship game, was a little on the quiet side Tuesday.
"I've got to be real careful what I say," said Berger, who received a public reprimand Monday from the NCAA Division II Women's Basketball committee for his actions before and after the Panthers' 63-54 loss to the Broncos on March 12.
"I don't want to give the press a bunch of things to write about. I want to ignore it and let it die. The damage has been done, and, unfortunately, the NCAA didn't give us a chance to defend ourselves. We're an NCAA school, so we have to abide by what they say."
The NCAA claimed that Berger failed to shake the opposing coach's hand prior to the game, which is an NCAA requirement. Berger also was reprimanded for his derogatory post-game comments directed toward Pomona Coach Darlene May.
"We did something that Pomona could never do. We won our games with class and character," Berger was quoted as saying. "They (Pomona) demonstrated the worst sportsmanship I've seen all year."
May left the interview area and refused to comment on Berger's statement.
Pam Gill, NCAA committee chairman, said that similar conduct by Berger in the future would result in Berger's exclusion from NCAA championship competition.
Berger and Chapman Athletic Director Walt Bowman watched a videotape of the Pomona game Tuesday, and Berger claimed that he did shake May's hand before the game.
"But I've been reprimanded before for something I didn't do," Berger said.
In last year's regional final against Pomona, Berger was reprimanded for allegedly making an obscene gesture to the crowd. Berger said that he received at least five letters stating that he did not make such a gesture.
As for this year's game, which also was marred by two fights, Berger said: "It's a pretty bitter rivalry, and sometimes those things can get out of hand."
Bowman said that he will conduct his own investigation and that no immediate action would be taken.
"It's a closed affair, as far as I'm concerned," he said. "We will have no other public comments."