Older Rebels fan got carried away

The folks who operate the Orleans Arena cleared up a mystery on Thursday.

Rumors have been flying that a North Carolina assistant coach got punched in the court-rushing aftermath of UNLV’s 90-80 upset of the No. 1-ranked Tar Heels on Saturday.

During a conference call with Boyd Gaming’s corporate communication office, I was told a female UNC assistant trainer was shoved to the floor by a male fan who was trying to join the court stormers.

A security guard grabbed the man, described as bald and wearing Rebel red, and he was detained. Boyd Gaming executives said UNC officials declined to press charges.

Fans were repeatedly asked via the public address system not to rush the court, and that’s probably an example of why the practice is discouraged.

If you saw the end of the game, you’re probably wondering: How old is too old when it comes to storming the court? It’s been a popular topic of conversation among national and local sports talk shows.

ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt, on his Monday show, suggested, tongue-in-cheek, that it was an older crowd.

I like the proposal of man-about-town Tony Cordasco, the local Red Bull rep. Before you can rush the court, everybody has to be carded, Cordasco said. “But you have to be under 21.”

THE SCENE AND HEARD

NASCAR.com columnist David Caraviello, in town for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup awards show, tweeted from the Strip on Wednesday: “Victory Lap coming up shortly. Fans are lining parts of Las Vegas Boulevard. Best sign: Carl got Smoked,” a reference to Tony “Smoke” Stewart overtaking Carl Edwards in the season finale to win his third Sprint Cup title. …

Reps for J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff, who won Season 13 of “Dancing With the Stars” last week, didn’t waste any time after the win. Within 12 hours, handlers had contacted Las Vegas dealmaker Jack Wishna to inquire about hosting opportunities. Smirnoff will be hosting Saturday at The Venetian’s first-ever Winter in Venice ice rink at 3 p.m.

SIGHTINGS

Dale Earnhardt Jr., dining at Lavo (Palazzo), and Jeff Gordon, getting the “Rocky”-themed magnum of champagne treatment at Lavo’s nightclub. … Five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, dining with friends at N9NE Steakhouse on Wednesday. … Sierra Boggess, who jumped from “Phantom: The Las Vegas Spectacular” to stardom on Broadway in “Little Mermaid” and co-lead in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Love Never Dies” in London, taking in Criss Angel (Luxor) on Wednesday. She was with fiancé Tam Mutu, her co-lead in “Love Never Dies.” … On the red carpet at the “Fighters Only” World MMA Awards at The Pearl inside the Palms on Wednesday: Derek Hough, Cheryl Burke and Mark Ballas from “Dancing With the Stars,” Jenna Jameson and Tito Ortiz, “American Idol” finalist Mikalah Gordon, “Malcolm in the Middle” star Frankie Muniz, Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, Fox NFL Sports’ Curt Menefee, Playboy playmate Jessa Hinton, Steve Rannazzisi from FX’s “The League,” Katrina Law of “Spartacus: Vengeance,” the Jabbawockeez and Dustin Bushnell and Jared Watson of the band Dirty Heads. … Troy Tulowitzki, All-Star shortstop for the Colorado Rockies, with friends at “Vegas! The Show” at the Saxe Theater (Planet Hollywood Resort).

THE PUNCH LINE

“The Kardashian sisters are among ‘Barbara Walters’ 10 Most Fascinating People in 2011.’ This is the first time that Barbara Walters has done a sarcastic prime-time special.” — Conan O’Brien

Norm Clarke can be reached at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find additional sightings and more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke.

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