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Jordan Caroline not suspended for Air Force game, but will he play?

Jordan Caroline
Jordan Caroline. (Nevada athletics)

Nevada star Jordan Caroline wasn't suspended by the Mountain West on Monday after punching the glass out of a fire extinguisher case following the Wolf Pack's loss at Utah State, but he still might not play Tuesday night against Air Force.

Video of Caroline's incident, which was sparked after some heated words with a Utah State staffer between the two schools' locker rooms, was caught on camera and went viral.

The MW released a statement Monday afternoon stating:

"After a thorough investigation into the circumstances of Saturday night’s incident, which included a review of numerous video clips from various sources and the collection of written statements from multiple individuals, the Mountain West has concluded the situation was not caused by the court rush. There was a postgame management plan in place and it was executed successfully. Rather, inappropriate conduct by individuals from both programs in the postgame handshake line and subsequently in the locker room areas created the unfortunate circumstances. The Conference office has had multiple communications with both athletics directors and has shared the findings of its review. Each institution will be responsible for the determination and administration of what it deems appropriate disciplinary action for those involved. It must be made clear unsportsmanlike and unprofessional conduct is not acceptable and will not be tolerated."

In a statement, Nevada said:

"Our department is thankful for the diligence of the Mountain West Conference, and Utah State’s athletics administration, in their review of the events from Saturday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan. We accept the review of the Mountain West and we will handle this matter internally. All parties involved can learn from this incident, and we will. The Mountain West believes in the highest ideals of sportsmanship and good behavior, and we will address this with members of our program who fell short of these ideals on Saturday night. We will pay restitution to Utah State University for any property damages incurred during the incident. As we learn from this, it’s time for all parties to move forward. We are eager to put this incident behind us and prepare for the final week of the regular season and the Mountain West Championships. Additionally, there was a great amount of misinformation in some media reports, including an unfortunate misidentification of other Nevada staff members as head coach Eric Musselman. We’re appreciative of those media outlets and the wire services that have since corrected this information."

In a tweet, coach Eric Musselman said:

"As someone who’s had the honor to know and coach Jordan Caroline for four years, I can testify to his outstanding character, high moral standards and strong integrity. He’s kind, compassionate, and competitive. Basketball aside, we’re fortunate to have such an upstanding young man as a part of the Wolf Pack family."

Caroline is still healing from cuts and bruises suffered after punching the glass. The Wolf Pack took an X-ray of Caroline's hand in Salt Lake City the night of the game, and those came back negative. He did not require stitches, either, which is good news for Nevada. But Caroline might still be held out against Air Force on Tuesday night to allow his right hand more healing time. He is expected to play Saturday against San Diego State in his senior night and Nevada's regular-season finale.

The loss to Utah State dropped the Wolf Pack half a game behind the Aggies in the MW standings. Nevada also fell to 17th in the latest AP Top 25 poll. The Wolf Pack can still earn a share of the MW title with wins over Air Force and SDSU. With two wins and a Utah State loss at Colorado State on Tuesday, the Wolf Pack could earn a third straight outright MW title, something that has never happened in the conference's 20-year history in men's basketball.

The Wolf Pack plays at Air Force at 8 p.m. Tuesday on ESPN2.

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