DAYTON — A St. Bonaventure videographer restrained by a University of Dayton Arena security guard in a now viral photo had prior approval to be on the court in what has now been called “an unfortunate misunderstanding of access,” according to sources within the Atlantic 10 Conference.
The interaction between the videographer and security guard took place seconds after the final buzzer when the Bonnies defeated the VCU Rams in the Atlantic 10 Championship Sunday at UD Arena.
But what took place after that final horn has had people talking.
Video provided to News Center 7 by a St. Bonaventure student in the stands shows a team videographer on the court recording the team’s celebration. In the video, the the videographer is approached by the arena security guard, who avoids him numerous times, before the guard restrains the videographer.
The restraint was caught by University of Dayton student newspaper reporter Griffin Quinn who said, in part, in a social media message: “The security guard must’ve thought he had rushed onto the court after the buzzer rang, which was prohibited for media members who had assigned seating in the stands. This videographer, though, had been on the court earlier.”
News Center 7 reached out to St. Bonaventure athletic, UD Arena, and Atlantic-10 Conference officials seeking clarity on the incident that has since been shared hundreds of times on social media.
The St. Bonaventure spokesperson said the videographer is a full-time university employee and was part of the team’s traveling party. He was regularly tested for COVID-19 along with the players and coaches and was wearing proper credentials, which granted him permission to be on the court.
Additionally, the videographer had approval to film on-court before the game started by on-site arena staff, the SBU athletics spokesperson said.
The videographer also had a conversation with a security guard prior to halftime where the guard asked the videographer to sit in a designated media section in the stands. However, by moving the videographer into the media area, that would break the team’s “Tier 1″ bubble for COVID-19 protocols, the spokesperson said.
An Atlantic 10 source told News Center 7 the incident was the result of a “misunderstanding of access.” Additionally, the source said due to COVID-19 protocols security guards were told to be extra vigilant about keeping fans and media off the court as the team celebrated to avoid any potential issues.
However after the videographer was briefly ushered off the court, St. Bonaventure players, coaches, and A-10 conference personnel stepped in, addressed the misunderstanding, and allowed the videographer to return to the court, the source said.
Both St. Bonaventure and the University of Dayton consider the matter closed and are moving on, the A-10 source said.
“We would rather our focus fully be on the accomplishments of our team and what they have been able to do this season,” the SBU athletic spokesperson said.
UD officials did not issue a comment for the story and deferred to the Atlantic 10 Conference.