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Saturday, March 5, 2011 6:17 p.m.

Professor, donor tossed from basketball game

Updated 6:39 p.m.

An accounting professor and high-profile supporter of the GW Athletics program was escorted from the Smith Center Saturday for verbally confronting a referee over a foul call.

From his sideline seat on the court, Robert Kasmir yelled at the referee over a foul call on sophomore forward David Pellom, prompting his removal from the court by a member of the athletics department.

“Basically, I told the ref he was the worst ref I’d ever seen and he wasn’t worth the $1,600 dollars they were paying him and that was it,” Kasmir said. “And then he ejected me from the game.”

Associate Sports Information Director Brad Bower said Kasmir was ejected for violating the NCAA and Atlantic 10 Sportsmanship Statement.

“Profanity, racial or sexist comments, or other intimidating actions directed at officials, student-athletes, coaches or teams will not be tolerated and are grounds for removal from the site of competition,” the statement reads.

Kasmir’s ejection came after he and his family were honored during the second half for their contributions to GW Athletics. Kasmir, who received his MBA from GW in 1974, has made at least one donation to the University ranging from $10,000 to $24,999, according to financial documents. Kasmir said the ejection would not keep him from making further donations to the University in the future.

“I think the University is a great University. It has nothing to do with the University,” he said. “I think the official should never be allowed to officiate another game in the Atlantic 10, in college basketball, in the United States.”

Senior Vice Provost Robert Chernak said Kasmir did not believe he violated the sportsmanship code.

“He did get a bigger ovation when he was thrown out than when he was on the court for his donation,” Chernak said. “Actually we started to play better afterwards, so maybe we need to make it a fan a game or something.”

Kasmir was only tossed from the basketball game, not the Smith Center, as he briefly appeared at the post-game press conference. The removal does not bar him from the Smith Center.

  • Diehard

    Oh god that was great. We love Kasmir.

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  • nicefellow31

    Maybe the official should go into Prof. Kasmir’s classroom and heckle him. You know like, “your the worst accounting professor, I’ve ever seen!”

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  • Clint Bradford

    Hey, GW – do the right thing. RETURN HIS DONATIONS, accompanied by a simple statement: We at GW honor traditions of civility and respect for fellow humans – traits with which we hope all GW students also hold dear and learn by our example. We cannot, therefore, accept monies from Professor Kasmir.

    Clint Bradford
    Mira Loma CA

  • vince

    Clint Bradford – your are hysterical!! You probably also think it was right for BYU to suspend Davies for having sex with his girlfriend. The Kasmir story almost makes me want to donate more money to GW for having such great fans. I would also make a matching donation to the AIDS hospice at which you volunteer, so don’t worry.

  • Barbara Sharpe

    Referees are supposed to have thicker skins than that – don’t become a referee if you can’t take criticism. After any call, roughly 50% of the crowd is not going to be happy with you. I love to occasionally yell at the referee at sporting events. I never use profanity or racist or other slurs. But, please, in this ubber politically correct society, don’t take that away from us, too! My husband used to ump for baseball. He enjoyed being the object of clever jabs from the stands. It’s part of the fun. This referee needs to lighten up, take himself less seriously, and get a major grip. He should have at least given this guy one warning before heaving him out.

  • Kasmirlvr

    Let’s be real, Kasmir is a great guy and a solid professor. This just made him that much cooler. The person above me can get over himself.

  • DPT

    You’ve clearly never paid attention to anything that happens on our campus, because “honor” and “civility” don’t quite spring to mind. Yelling at a ref is outright mundane compared to what University Police officers encounter from students any given weekend day.

    He’s not Saif al Gaddafi, and anything that defrays the cost of my tuition without causing actual harm is fine by my book.

  • Mark Zorger

    I would like to see the play that inspired the Prof to criticize the officiating. This was criticism, but it was CIVIL criticism, unless some choice verbage has been excluded. People that officiciate a public event are subject to public criticism, within the bounds of civility.

    Just my two cents worth.

  • imaf

    The spotlight should be on the referee for being totally blind and stupid. See what happens when you talk truth to power? $1,600 per game for a blind and stupid referee – are you kidding?

    Give the money to the GWU faculty who are currently undergoing severe budgetary cuts – and for that matter, double the increase for the accounting professors. Go GWU.

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