The start of the second half against Ohio State was delayed on Saturday evening when an object fell from the center court video board and fell to the Branch McCracken Court.
The object fell near Ohio State freshman guard Brice Sensabaugh as the teams came onto the court.
IU has inspected the video board and provided the following explanation:
“The piece that fell from the center hung scoreboard at SSAH on Saturday night was an unused unistrut bracket. It was 18 inches in length and just over 1 pound. It is believed that the unused piece was left from the original installation of the Daktronics scoreboard, which occurred 7 years ago, and the vibration from the crowd and music caused the piece to come loose and fall at halftime of the game. The scoreboard was inspected by IU facility operations staff and no other unused or loose pieces were found.”
A piece of metal fell from the scoreboard at Assembly Hall and almost hit Brice Sensabaugh 😳 pic.twitter.com/dionTes2Cs
— The Field of 68 (@TheFieldOf68) January 29, 2023
The falling object caused a five minute delay to the start of the second half, and during that time Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann inquired about a postponement.
“I asked if I had the authority to say let’s do the second half at another time,” Holtmann said after the game. “They said, we can certainly have that conversation. (Indiana coach) Mike (Woodson) and I talked about it, and they reassured me again. I said, I’m not sure I’m comfortable. I’d like to consider doing the second half – I don’t think I got that specific, but I said what assurances can you give us?”
The object left a mark on the court, and obviously would have injured Sensabaugh had it struck him.
“I told the officials I was concerned about resuming,” Holtmann said. “I wanted the game to resume. I’m not saying, ‘Hey, down 16, we want to call the game.’ I wanted the game to resume. I was concerned about resuming it without them going up and taking a look at it or pulling it down and taking a look at it and determining that it was fully functional and that there were going to be no other issues with it.”
IU women’s basketball hosts Rutgers in the building today at 2 p.m. Eastern.
It’s not the first time an object has fallen from above at the 51 year old Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
In 2014 a piece of paneling fell from the ceiling and landed in the seating area, causing significant damage. That happened when no fans were in the building, but it caused a postponement of a game against Iowa that was scheduled for later that same day. IU ultimately said that incident was caused by shifting snow on the roof.
The Daily Hoosier –“Where Indiana fans assemble when they’re not at Assembly”