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Q&A with MAAC commissioner Rich Ensor after Monmouth coach sounds off on conference rules

Bryan Schwartz

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After the Monmouth men’s basketball team’s 98-92 win over Quinnipiac on Saturday night in the 2019 MAAC quarterfinals, Monmouth head coach King Rice began his press conference not by talking about the game, but instead about conference rules preventing him from seeing his family after the game.

Q30 Sports’ Bryan Schwartz spoke with MAAC commissioner Rich Ensor about the situation:

Schwartz: With last night’s situation with King Rice, what are your impressions of what happened?

Ensor: I spoke with King following the issue last night. He actually came and found me. We talked it out. It was a miscommunication on one level because we have a security plan that is required for security reasons, but also for insurance and other things where you have to be an authorized person to be in certain areas, whether it’s a locker room or in the media area. For years and years you can’t have family members or fans or children for a lot of reasons. That’s been there. The coaches know it. Going into this week’s tournament, the first night security was a little light. We had problems back there. I had to chase a whole slew of Manhattan fans and family members out. I think because of that there was an impression that it had been opened up, and that wasn’t the case. We had met with security after that and they tightened it up. The result was what occurred last night, and it was because of new security put in place. King had seen it one way in day one and now it’s changed in day two. I told him there was no harm, no foul last night and that moving forward we just follow the rules.

Schwartz: Would you ever say that it is OK for him to potentially bring his son to a press conference?

Ensor: No…The rule is right now you can’t have family members in those restricted areas.

Schwartz: Is that a rule around the NCAA or is it just for the conference?

Ensor: There’s an NCAA rule that’s similar but we have a conference rule, too. When you go to the NCAA championship, you can’t do that either.

Schwartz: We see in the NBA sometimes.. Would you-

Ensor: I can’t speak to the NBA. That’s (Adam Silver’s) issue. Yeah, so I don’t know what they do, frankly. 

Schwartz: Do you have any other comments on this?

Ensor: These things happen. There’s a lot of passion in the game. We don’t want a problem to occur, and then a third party get hurt. You get in the locker room area after a game, when the kids are really upset, things can go bad. We don’t want people not part of the teams to be back there. Similar with the interview process. It’s a profession, and we’re running it that way. We also want to prepare the teams to advance in to the NCAA because that’s the reality of the NCAA. You can’t do that either. It could have been better communicated that we re-tightened up there. If the arena had done what they were supposed to be doing, we wouldn’t have even had this to begin with. So, it’s no big deal. These things happen in tournaments and you just work through them.

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