As Georgetown men’s basketball season came to a disappointing close, one of the leaders of the “Fire JT3” movement faced backlash of his own. At the final home game of the year, Roey Hadar (SFS ’17) reported that he was threatened by former Georgetown basketball player Tyler Crawford.
During the second half of the game against Villanova, students began to heckle head coach John Thompson III. According to Hadar’s account of the game on Casual Hoya, the chants picked up in the last ten minutes. That was when Hadar joined in and began chanting, “Fire Thompson!,” to the familiar beat of “Let’s Go Hoyas.”
When Hadar returned his attention to the game, a man stood in front of him. That man was Tyler Crawford, a former Georgetown basketball player.
“I’m gonna tell you one time: cut it out,” Crawford demanded.
“If you do it again,” he continued, “I’ll kick your f*cking a**.”
Hadar immediately notified security at the Verizon Center, who offered to escort him from the arena after the game ended.
The incident with Crawford was Hadar’s first experience of serious blacklash from the basketball program. In February, Hadar helped start the petition asking Georgetown to replace John Thompson III as head coach. The petition had over 1,400 signatures when it was submitted on March 3.
According to Hadar, the Athletic Department reached out to him directly following the incident. Athletic Director Lee Reed assured him that the department would “look into it closely” and provided contact information for safety resources.
In an interview with The Georgetown Review, Hadar noted that many students and alumni have welcomed his call for a change in the basketball program.
“A vast majority of the responses I have heard have been positive and supportive,” he said.
Students and alumni have criticized John Thompson III, the head coach of the Georgetown men’s basketball program since 2004, for the team’s poor performance in recent years. This year, the Hoyas had a 14-18 record, losing the last six games of the season. With the team’s final loss to St. John’s, Georgetown had its first consecutive losing season since the 1970s.
In particular, the petition argues that Thompson’s salary does not reflect his performance. In 2016, Thompson’s salary was reported to be about $2.8 million, a figure that “far exceeds that of any other University employee.”
Tyler Crawford, now a police officer in Virginia, was a star of the men’s basketball program in the early 2000s. He was a guard and forward, who played for the team from 2004 to 2008. According to his profile on the Georgetown Athletics site, Crawford was “a captain [who was] considered the ‘heart and soul’ of the team.”
The Georgetown Review reached out to the Athletic Department for further comment on the incident but did not receive a response.