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March 8, 2012

LSU's White regrets hard foul on Davis

NEW ORLEANS - Malcolm White sent a letter. He's expressed his regrets.

But the LSU forward knows he's not likely to live down the hard foul he committed on Kentucky's Anthony Davis earlier this season.

"It's going to haunt me for the rest of my life," White said Thursday. "I know a lot of people are going to remember me by pulling Anthony Davis down."

LSU beat Arkansas 70-54 on Thursday in the first round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament, setting up a rematch with No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Kentucky on Friday.

It'll be White's first face-to-face encounter with Davis since Jan. 28, when White grabbed Davis' shoulders on a breakaway and pulled him hard to the ground to stop a breakaway dunk.

That was in the second half of UK's 74-50 win in Baton Rouge, La., and White has become perhaps best-known for what he calls "a bad decision."

White sent a letter to UK apologizing to Davis and the program. He received a response from UK coach John Calipari, who accepted his apology on Davis' behalf.

But White has not spoken to Davis in person or over the phone.

"Hopefully I'll see (Davis) out here (on Friday)," White said. "I'll go up, go apologize to him face-to-face, man-to-man and tell him I apologize."

White, who was whistled for a flagrant foul on the play and was ejected from the game, said he sat on the bench worried that Davis would be injured. He said he's watched all of Davis' games since, checking up on the UK freshman to make sure he's in good health.

"I knew I made a mistake right then because of the program we played and the guy I did it (to)," White said. "He's predicted to be the No. 1 pick in the draft this year, a guy with a lot of potential. I knew the situation I was going to be in."

And though White is remorseful, he doesn't expect that to buy him any relief from UK fans' grief. The Wildcat faithful will be out in force at Friday's game, and White expects them to give him a hard time.

"I know they're going to be on me, but that's just a part of the game, part of the fans," White said. "That's what they get their joy out of, getting on us and stuff, trying to get us out of our game. I just use it as motivation as well."

White said he hopes Kentucky fans can appreciate that the play was an isolated incident, that "that's not the type of guy I am."

He also said he hopes the officials won't hold it against him if he gets in the game Friday. His hope is that the referees can "just move on."

In fact, that's what he wants everyone to do.

"I knew when I made that play, when I made that bad decision, I knew that it was going to haunt me for the rest of my life," White said. "I've just got to keep moving, keep pushing forward."


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