A day after saying Houston guard DeJon Jarreau did not bite a Cincinnati player on Saturday, Cougars coach Kelvin Sampson said additional video has convinced him that he was wrong.
Sampson said new footage from the game proved his player did bite Cincinnati's Mamoudou Diarra during a fight for a loose ball. A viral clip that circulated after the game showed a different tussle for a loose ball involving Jarreau and Cincinnati's Keith Williams, which is what Sampson said he responded to following the game.
Jarreau, who was ejected after drawing a flagrant 2 foul, has been suspended for Thursday's game against Tulane.
"In the initial video clip I requested and saw immediately after Saturday's game at Cincinnati, I did not believe there was a bite on Keith Williams," Sampson said in a statement. "My initial statements in Saturday's postgame press conference were based on the video from the early part of that scrum. After further reviews from multiple angles, it can clearly be seen that DeJon Jarreau bit Mamoudou Diarra."
In a scuffle for a loose ball in Houston's 64-62 road loss to Cincinnati, Jarreau dove for a loose ball with 6:16 to go in the game. As Jarreau and Diarra wrestled for the ball, it appeared on video that Jarreau bit Diarra on the leg. Jarreau was subsequently ejected.
After the game, however, Sampson said he'd watched video of the play and determined that there was "no bite."
"There was no bite. There was an alleged bite," Sampson said after the game. "Somebody says somebody bit, and they go to the line. I just watched the film. I watched it three times to make sure I was right, too. If you watch it once, you might be wrong. I watched it twice. I watched it three times. I had my staff look at it. There was no bite. There should have been a jump ball. It's our ball. Our possession. And we should have had the ball on the side."
Cincinnati had stormed back from a 15-point deficit in the key American Athletic Conference matchup. But postgame conversation centered on Jarreau's actions.
On Sunday, however, Sampson said he has apologized to Cincinnati's John Brannen for his comments after the game.
"I reached out to Cincinnati head coach John Brannen this morning and apologized on behalf of our basketball team," Sampson said. "Our program is built on discipline, and behavior like that will not be tolerated. With that in mind, I have chosen to suspend DeJon for Thursday's game against Tulane. I am confident DeJon will learn from this incident and the consequences of his actions."
The American Athletic Conference released a statement Monday night saying it has "concluded its review of the incident involving Houston's DeJon Jarreau and supports and accepts the University of Houston's action of a one-game suspension."