FSU player responds after Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim is suspended for hitting him: ‘He didn’t really punch me’

Sports

(NEXSTAR) – Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim has been suspended from Thursday’s basketball game against Duke after hitting Florida State player Wyatt Wilkes in the stomach.

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) announced the decision Wednesday night after the game, calling Boeheim’s actions “flagrant.”

“The Atlantic Coast Conference today announced a one-game suspension for Syracuse men’s basketball student-athlete Buddy Boeheim as a result of a flagrant act committed during the first half of the Syracuse-Florida State game,” the ACC wrote in a statement obtained by Nexstar’s WSYR. “Boeheim will miss Syracuse’s Thursday ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament game versus Duke.”

At a post-game news conference, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim — Buddy Boeheim’s father — initially appeared to deny that his son had intentionally hit Wilkes.

“No, I don’t think he hit … He just swung around and had, [there] was contact,” Jim Boeheim said. “The kid pushed him twice. You can’t just let people push you around.”

A reporter at the news conference then pressed the coach about online footage of the incident, which appeared to show his son had “punched” Wilkes in his stomach, but Jim Boeheim maintained that he disagreed.

The younger Boeheim, however, has since expressed regret over his actions during Wednesday’s game, which Syracuse won 96-57.

“In the heat of today’s game, after some shoving in the lane, I swung my arm while turning to go back up court,” said Buddy Boeheim in a statement shared on the Syracuse basketball Twitter account. “It was wrong to act out in frustration. I apologized to Wyatt Wilkes multiple times in the handshake line. He said not to worry about it, but I know it was wrong.”

Wyatt Wilkes also has responded to the incident, saying he doesn’t think Boeheim should be suspended.

“In all honesty, I didn’t think anything of it after the fact,” Wilkes said, in part, in a YouTube video. “In fact, I didn’t even know this was a thing until somebody told me … like, I’ve been punched in the face. And he didn’t really punch me. He threw his arm out.”

Syracuse faces off against the top-seeded Duke in an ACC Tournament game on Thursday at 12 p.m. EST.

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