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Wisconsin officials investigating spitting allegations

Courtesy of Megan McCormick, The Badger Herald

Two days after freshman forward Jared Sullinger accused Wisconsin fans of spitting on him, Ohio State coach Thad Matta and Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan responded.

In a teleconference Monday, Ryan said he was unaware of the alleged incident.

“Every area of our facility is all videotaped,” he said. “All I know is, we won the game. Deal with it.”

In a press conference Monday, Matta said he didn’t see the incident occur.

“I had gone down to shake hands,” he said. “When I turned back around, coach Ryan actually stopped fans from coming at us so we could shake hands.”

Matta complimented Jared on how he handled the incident.

“I think he’s been great,” Matta said. “The things that people yell at you when you walk off the court and that sort of stuff, that’s just part of it. There’s really nothing you can do.”

After the Buckeyes’ 71-67 loss in Madison, Wis., on Saturday, Jared said via his Twitter account, @Jared_Sully0, that Wisconsin fans spat on him before and after the game.

“To be spit on is just nasty. On top of that in my Face,” he wrote. “I just kept walking. More fuel to the fire.”

During a press conference Monday, senior guard Jon Diebler said he didn’t know if the incident occurred.

“I don’t think Jared would lie about it, but I didn’t see anything,” he said. “It’s unfortunate something like that happens, especially with college students.”

Diebler said he had a tough time fighting through the crowd.

“I was just trying to get out of there,” he said. “I didn’t plan that too well. I just started walking across the court. Obviously I should have taken the long way and gone to the end line.”

Justin Doherty, University of Wisconsin assistant athletic director for external relations, told Madison.com that the incidents are under investigation.

“We were made aware of it (Saturday) night,” he said, according to the site Sunday evening. “That’s about where it is right now.”

Since their original statement, Wisconsin officials have declined The Lantern’s request for comment on the investigation.

Jared’s brother J.J. told The Lantern on Sunday that the spitting incident was “uncalled for.”

“That’s the biggest sign of disrespect you can have,” he said. “To spit on someone just because they’re wearing a different jersey than you, I don’t understand how that could be something that you would even do.”

Jared was not made available for comment.

Nick Otte contributed to this story.

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