Utah head coach Jim Boylen announced that freshman guard Marshall Henderson has been suspended for the Utes' game Wednesday against Colorado State for striking BYU's Jackson Emery near the end of the Utes' 82-69 loss to the Cougars.
"We don't think it was a fight," Boylen said. "But that's the rule."
The "rule" Boylen referred to is Rule four, Section 26, Article two of the NCAA Handbook: "A fight is a confrontation involving one or more players...wherein (but not limited to) a fist, hand, arm, foot, knee, or leg is used to combatively strike the other individual."
Henderson smacked Emery with the back of his fist during a dead ball with 34 seconds remaining. Emery fell to the ground as the sellout crowd in Provo's Marriott Center loudly booed Henderson, who was ejected.
Under Rule 10, Section seven, Article two, a fighting infraction results in an automatic one-game suspension. As such, the Mountain West Conference will not punish Henderson further and considers the matter closed, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
A second fight will result in a suspension for the rest of the season, according to Article three. Boylen said he is confident it won't happen again.
"[Henderson] is a self-motivated guy," Boylen said. "Let's not make this out to be more than it is. He didn't throw a punch, run across the floor and hit somebody. It's unfortunate it happened but he won't lose his fire."