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A viral video showing an University of Arizona basketball player appearing to briefly brush a cheerleader’s breast during a post game incident has sparked a fierce online debate, with many jumping to his defense. 

Officials at the University of Arizona and TCU have reportedly been in contact after the Wildcats’ star guard Bennedict Mathurin seemingly tapped a cheerleader’s chest as he headed to his team’s locker room, the Forth Worth Star-Telegram reported. 

Just seconds before the awkward incident, 19-year-old Mathurin could be seen spreading his arms to celebrate Arizona’s 85-80 overtime victory over TCU on Sunday. 

But the guard might have miscalculated the space he had available to extend his arms while exiting the court. 

It is unclear if Mathurin, who has not addressed the video, in fact touch the cheerleader or if he meant at all to do so. 

Videos of the incident circulating on social media have garnered a lot of attention, with Twitter users debating whether Mathurin deserves to be disciplined or if what happened was simply an accident. 

Officials at the University of Arizona and TCU have reportedly been in contact after the Wildcats' star guard Bennedict Mathurin seemingly tapped a cheerleader's chest on Sunday

Officials at the University of Arizona and TCU have reportedly been in contact after the Wildcats' star guard Bennedict Mathurin seemingly tapped a cheerleader's chest on Sunday

Officials at the University of Arizona and TCU have reportedly been in contact after the Wildcats’ star guard Bennedict Mathurin seemingly tapped a cheerleader’s chest on Sunday 

The guard might have miscalculated the space he had available to extend his arms while exiting the court

The guard might have miscalculated the space he had available to extend his arms while exiting the court

The guard might have miscalculated the space he had available to extend his arms while exiting the court

Videos of the incident circulating on social media have garnered a lot of attention

Videos of the incident circulating on social media have garnered a lot of attention

Videos of the incident circulating on social media have garnered a lot of attention

Twitter users debating whether Mathurin deserves to be disciplined or if what happened was simply an accident

Twitter users debating whether Mathurin deserves to be disciplined or if what happened was simply an accident

Twitter users debating whether Mathurin deserves to be disciplined or if what happened was simply an accident

‘He was celebrating with both arms extended, didn’t see her until late, and clearly moved his left arm back as he put it down,’ one Twitter user wrote on Monday. 

‘IF he touched her (probably didn’t), he was clearly trying to avoid it. This is a non-issue that you shouldn’t legitimize by acknowledging.’

Another user ventured to say that TCU cheerleaders were too close to the the court exit and they should have moved. 

‘[Another player] had to slide around them as well to get in the lockerroom. AS OF YET, haven’t heard the cheerleader complain, so either it didn’t happen or she realized it wasn’t on purpose,’ that user tweeted. 

Others questioned if Mathurin had even touched the cheerleader, arguing that depth of angle could have played a part in making the video show something that didn’t actually happen.  

A Twitter user commented that Mathurin should apologize, but the incident appeared inadvertent

A Twitter user commented that Mathurin should apologize, but the incident appeared inadvertent

A Twitter user commented that Mathurin should apologize, but the incident appeared inadvertent 

Mathurin, 19,  led Arizona to its 85-80 overtime victory over TCU on Sunday

Mathurin, 19,  led Arizona to its 85-80 overtime victory over TCU on Sunday

Mathurin, 19,  led Arizona to its 85-80 overtime victory over TCU on Sunday

Mathurin is considered a top contender in this year's NBA draft

Mathurin is considered a top contender in this year's NBA draft

Mathurin is considered a top contender in this year’s NBA draft

Meanwhile, some blamed Mathurin for the incident and decried that the video has not been taken as seriously as it should have.  

An user wrote: ‘Looked like he was instinctively giving a hand slap or shake, on his way to the locker… maybe there’s another angle.’

‘This cannot go away. He needs to be held responsible for his actions,’ user Mike Regalado tweeeted.  

Mathurin, a sophomore at University of Arizona, recorded 30 point on Sunday’s game, leading his team to the Sweet 16. 

He is considered a top contender in this year’s NBA draft.  

Mathurin has come through plenty in clutch situations for Arizona. It’s no surprise he made his biggest plays of the season when the Wildcats needed him the most.

The sophomore shooting guard made a 3-pointer to force overtime and then scored six more points in the extra session as the top-seeded Arizona outlasted ninth-seeded TCU 85-80 on Sunday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Mathurin, the Pac-12 Player of the Year and a second-team AP All-American selection, finished with 30 points. 

After Kerr Kriisa missed a 3, Mathurin was able to wrestle the ball away from TCU’s Emanuel Miller in the paint and put it in to give the Wildcats an 83-80 lead with 1:11 remaining.

After getting the rebound and making the basket, Mathurin did a couple fist pumps near the baseline.

‘My coaches were getting on me for not getting enough rebounds. I was pretty happy about getting the offensive rebound,’ said Mathurin, who is the sixth Arizona player to score at least 30 points in an NCAA Tournament game. 

‘So I just went out there and got the rebound, made it. And I was emotional.’

 

Source: dailymail

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