Spoonhour, OVC talk problematic floor logos


JJ Bullock

Eastern Shareef Smith grapples with Tennessee-Martin’s Preston Parks for a loose ball on one of the on-court emblems Eastern head coach Jay Spoonhour questioned the quality of. Five total players slipped on these logos during the game.

Dillan Schorfheide, Assistant Sports Editor

Losing in the first round of the OVC tournament was a sour way for the Eastern men’s basketball team’s season to end.

The regular season itself ended on a sour note, as the Panthers started the conference schedule with a 5-2 record, but finished the regular season on a 2-9 stretch, not including the tournament loss.

Eastern head coach Jay Spoonhour and his staff and players would not make excuses for the early exit from the tournament, but one thing did leave Spoonhour with a bad taste in his mouth after the 78-71 loss to Tennessee-Martin Wednesday.

Specifically, two logos (one on each side of the court) were the subject of an unexpected detour Spoonhour took after the game.

After answering questions in the press conference, Spoonhour told reporters to enjoy the game then expounded upon why the logos upset him:

“I’d like to say one thing about those emblems we got to do something about those emblems OVC. I mean this has been 100 years that they’ve had these emblems on the floor, and you’ve got four guys, five guys, that went down on these emblems.”

“They make those things better and you can’t have guys falling down,” Spoonhour continued. “We had three guys go down, (Tennessee-Martin) had two guys go down, you got to get a better company, something, because that’s not right.”

One example of an Eastern player slipping on the logo was Mack Smith, during the second half, guarding a Skyhawk ball handler, and Smith nearly fell after his left foot slipped on part of the floor where the logo was under him.

Kyle Schwartz, the assistant commissioner for strategic communications for the OVC, said the logos were manufactured by Shafer Display, who is regarded as the industry leader in floor decals.

Shafer Display produces court decals for the NBA, NCAA and Team USA, according to Schwartz.

He said the logos were installed by Slade Print, who is based in Evansville, Ind., the site of the tournament.

Schwartz said the OVC was in contact with Shafer Display at 7:45 a.m. Thursday morning, and at 8 a.m., Slade Print assessed the logos prior to shoot-around and was not concerned about the logos.

Spoonhour answered all questions he got in the press conference in a not-too-unusual manner, but as Josiah Wallace, Rade Kukobat and Smith, the three players at the conference, got up to leave, Spoonhour talked about the logos with more directness and displeasure than anything else.

A Twitter user also noticed the difficulty players had when moving on the logos, saying, “Not to mention, it looks like players are slipping on these big ass logos.”

More information will be added to the story as soon as it becomes available.

Dillan Schorfheide can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]