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Cheerleader Hit by Player; Coach Sorry

March 06, 1989|From United Press International

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga coach has apologized for a basketball player who punched an East Tennessee State cheerleader after a loss in the Southern Conference tournament.

Videotape taken seconds after Chattanooga's 76-73 loss to East Tennessee State on Saturday shows Benny Green hitting cheerleader Jenny Worley in the face. She was holding her index finger in Green's face in a "We're No. 1" gesture.

"I would like to apologize to Jenny Worley, coach and athletic director Les Robinson and to East Tennessee State University for the incident following our contest," Tennessee Chattanooga coach Mack McCarthy said.

"We in collegiate athletics must maintain a level of poise above reproach no matter how emotional and difficult the situation. We failed to do that."

sh Action Promised

"After a complete review of the entire matter, appropriate action will be taken," McCarthy said. "Please accept our sincere apologies."

The tapes do not show clearly whether the 6-foot, 3-inch Green hit Worley with his fist or the back of his hand, but Worley said he slugged her with his fist. She said her face was blackened with a bruise.

Worley said she was shaking her finger in Green's face because he spat on her and another cheerleader just before half-time in the game. She said she thought the spitting was deliberate.

Green, who scored 29 points in the game, was not available for comment.

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