S.C. reporter downplays Cousins' post-game incident

jtipton@herald-leader.comJanuary 29, 2010 

A Columbia, S.C., radio-and-television reporter expressed surprise on Thursday that he was still being asked about an incident he said he saw involving Kentucky freshman DeMarcus Cousins and a South Carolina fan charging onto the court after Tuesday night's game.

Bob Shields said he did not make follow-up calls to the Southeastern Conference office nor to South Carolina's athletics department after seeing Cousins deliver "two quick underhanded uppercuts" at a fan he identified as "Steven" looking to get on the court to celebrate the Gamecocks' 68-62 victory over No. 1 UK.

"Maybe I'm a slack journalist on this," Shields said. "But I don't believe it's a punishable offense."

When asked about Cousins' actions, Shields said, "If he wanted to, he could have destroyed (Steven). They were not haymakers. They were little blows. ... I call them punches. They were little jabs: tap-tap."

Shields said Steven ran into Cousins near the UK bench as the game ended. Cousins reacted. Then Shields said he saw UK personnel in suits hustling Cousins off the court.

After doing his television report, Shields happened to hear Steven telling someone else about the incident. So Shields asked Steven if he was the person who interacted with Cousins.

"He had a grin on his face," Shields said. "He said it was worth it. He looked at it as kind of funny. Kind of proud of it. Said he'd take another one in Rupp Arena if he needed to."

Perhaps Cousins' reputation as an emotional player with a short temper fueled media interest in the incident.

But neither UK nor South Carolina determined that the incident merited further inquiry.

"I was on the court post-game and never saw anything. The only thing I've heard is from the media asking me about it," UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy said in a text message Thursday.

South Carolina spokesman Steve Fink described the incident and media questions as "much ado about nothing."

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