In the wake of a heated exchange of words between Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon and Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley during the Terrapins' 86-63 victory over the Rams on Wednesday that reportedly spilled over into the postgame handshake line, URI athletic director Thorr Bjorn has released a statement defending his program's head coach.
"After extensive conversations with our head coach, staff, and administrators who were on the floor for the post game handshakes, I am 100% confident that neither Dan Hurley, nor any member of our coaching staff made any derogatory expletive remarks or offensive statements toward the Maryland student-athletes," it reads, as reported by Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com. "Any report, rumor, allegation to the contrary is false."
Wednesday's exchange began late in the championship game of the Cancun Challenge when Terrapins forward Jake Layman hit a three-pointer with just over a minute to play and Turgeon called a timeout with the intention of getting his end-of-the-bench players into the game.
Words were then exchanged. Television cameras showed Turgeon shouting in the direction of Rhode Island's bench while being restrained by sophomore guard Melo Trimble. Technical fouls were given to both Turgeon and Hurley.
After the game according to Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun, Hurley "made derogatory expletive remarks to Maryland players in the handshake line, setting off Turgeon" after the Terrapins' victory, citing a tournament official.
In a statement, the Cancun Challenge denied Hurley made any such remarks and claimed that no tournament representative had spoken to the press.
Here is the official statement from the Cancun Challenge regarding Wednesday's Maryland vs Rhode Island game. pic.twitter.com/mNqy1FsXYd
— Cancun Challenge (@CancunChallenge) November 26, 2015
Maryland returns home to face Cleveland State on Saturday.