Penn State coach Pat Chambers’ emotions got the best of him during a 68-55 loss at No. 2 Michigan Thursday night. Now he is going to have to pay the consequences.
In press release issued early Friday evening, PSU announced that Chambers will be suspended for Sunday’s home game with Wisconsin for actions athletic director Sandy Barbour deemed “unacceptable.”
After freshman guard Myles Dread had a defensive lapse that led to a dunk by U-M’s Austin Davis in the first half Thursday, Chambers called a 30-second timeout. ESPN went to commercial. When the naional telecast resumed, it showed an angry Chambers yelling at and then quickly shoving Dread in the team huddle.
“Coach Chambers and I have spoken about what occurred during the Michigan game and he is very remorseful,” Barbour said in the release. “His actions were unacceptable, which he recognized, and he apologized to Myles Dread last night and his family today. His actions do not reflect the values of Penn State and the expectations we set for our programs and must not occur again. Pat and I agree his actions were unacceptable and he will be suspended for Sunday night’s game vs. Wisconsin.”
The release also included a statement from Chambers.
“I apologized to Myles after the game and I have spoken with his family,” Chambers said. “My actions were inappropriate; that’s not what Penn State stands for or what I stand for. I told Myles I was sorry that it happened. Sandy and I have spoken and agreed there are some things I need to address. I’ve assured her this won’t happen again and understand my actions last night come with consequences.”
The Nittany Lions are off to a 7-7 start this season. They are 0-3 in the Big Ten with four games coming up against teams currently ranked in the Associate Press Top 25.
After PSU won the NIT last season, Chambers was rewarded with a contract extension through the 2021-22 season. Speaking to the media in Orlando Dec. 31 — the day before the Penn State football team played Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl — Barbour was asked if she was “generally committed” to Chambers making it through that new contract despite the tough start this season.
“I’m not generally committed to Pat, I’m fully committed to Pat and his leadership of our program,” she said.
Earlier, she said she understood why the program was struggling at times this season.
“We stepped up our schedule,” she said. “We’ve got a young team. Are there maybe some disappointments in there? Sure, absolutely. But all in all, I’m excited about going into the core of the Big Ten season and seeing what these guys can do.”
The statement did not say who would take over for Chambers in the Wisconsin game Sunday (7:30 p.m., BTN), but a team source said associate head coach Keith Urgo will be the top man on the PSU bench vs. the Badgers.
No. 22 Wisconsin had been ranked No. 15 before sustaining an 83-73 upset at Western Kentucky last Saturday. The Badgers resumed conference play vs. Minnesota in Madison Thursday night and dropped a 59-52 decision to fall to 10-4 overall and 2-1 in the conference.