Alford: No Need For Punishment After Exchange With BYU Player

New Mexico coach Steve Alford said Monday that there's no reason for any punishment to be doled out for a colorful verbal exhange last Saturday in which he could be heard calling BYU forward Jonathan Tavernari an asshole after New Mexico's win over the Cougars.

"It happened in a competitive nature," Alford said of the incident, which occurred during the teams' post-game handshake. "I don't think there's any harm done.

The Mountain West Conference is investigating the incident.

The Lobos coach chalked up the graphic nature of his exchange with Tavernari to the "emotions" of the moment - which was caught in a video posted on YouTube.

"That's why they give players and coaches a 10-minute cool down before you address the media," Alford said. "It's because of emotions like this. In the handshake line, you don't get that. Everybody is still fired up about things."

Alford said he was trying to congratulate Tavernari, whom he called one of his favorite players, but the compliment apparently fell on deaf ears. The video shows Tavernari and Alford jawing at one another as the teams progress through the handshake line. At the end of the 18-second clip, Alford appears to be surprised at Tavernari's reaction to their exchange and says "You're an asshole" as the video ends.

After the incident, Tavernari went to the New Mexico locker room to apologize to Alford. He also offered to apologize to the rest of the Lobo team.

"You don't have to," Alford replied. "You just shocked me. You're one of my favorites."

"I just lost my cool," Tavernari said."

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