The Monmouth Hawks defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Saturday 98-92 to advance to the semifinals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) tournament. But the win wasn’t the only thing on Monmouth coach King Rice’s mind after the game. Instead, he used the first half of his opening remarks to express his frustration with conference officials that prevented him from bringing his 7-year-old son to the press conference and tried to remove the kid from Monmouth’s locker room.
“What kind of rule is that,” Rice asked. “When a 7-year-old can’t be with his father in the biggest win of his season. Where’s [MAAC commissioner Richard Ensor] at, so we can really talk about the thought behind that. Okay? That’s ridiculous.”
Rice made sure to include all of the times and places that his son joined the team—the bus, the locker room, on the stairs doing the drills the players are doing—and what he means to those players along with what the players and the team mean to Rice’s son:
The players treat him like a little brother. He loves those guys to death. He thinks he’s on the team.
Do you know how many nights he cried when he lost this year? Do you know how many times I had to put him to bed crying? What’s wrong with the MAAC sometimes?
Commissioner Ensor, for his part, stood by his conference’s policy and basically argued that Rice can’t get upset over this because he already knew about this rule, according to Q30's Bryan Schwartz.
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. We don’t want people not part of the teams to be back there.
There’s something to be said about a policy if a 7-year-old can be seen as a potential threat that would compromise the integrity of a conference’s security plan.