The Glenn Robinson-Jordan Hulls Zapruder films

So by now, you’ve probably heard about the Glenn Robinson-Jordan Hulls punch controversy that set the Twitter-verse on fire for about 45 minutes this afternoon. There are two GIF videos of this, one seems to partially incriminate Robinson, another seems to exonerate him. He has said on his Twitter account that the punch was accidental. There was no foul called at the time.

(I put the GIFs in here directly, but watching Hulls get punched in the face repeatedly was starting to get disturbing, so I’d say look at the links at your own risk.)

Video 1

Video 2


  1. If you look at Glenn’s head/face, it doesn’t look like he sees Jordy at all.

    However, when he feels contact with a player, it definitely looks like he throws a punch (without looking to see who was on the other end).

    And once he saw it was Jordy, he just ran to the other end.

  2. We’ll see if Michigan is still the Fisher/Frieder Michigan or whether they really have started to clean up the program. Watching in ‘real time’ it looked like Robinson just got excited and swung his hand as he turned upcourt. Upon rewatching it sure looks like he knows Hulls is standing there and punches him (while looking directly at him). He needs to lose a couple of games.

  3. I am not one to cry over spilled milk – but that looks both intentional and like a punch to the head. Even if it was an accident, I don’t buy the “Watford pushed me” excuse – he kept swinging long after Watford’s little push on the elbow ended…..

  4. If you watch the longer clip of the actual play (instead of a 1 second moment in time)and keep your eye on Robinson he has no clue where Hulls is, Robinson is at the block and facing the hoop jostling with Watford, Watf had his arm pinned and Robinson yanked it away quickly, that’s what lead to what looks like a ‘punch.’ Jordy clearly didn’t think it was intentional, no one reacts the way Jordy did if you think you’ve intentionally been punched in the teeth. Instead Jordy, Robinson and everyone else on the court reacted as if it was unintentional, because it was.

  5. At best, GRII displayed very bad sportsmanship. After the contact was made, he made no attempt to apologize or acknowledge that the blow was accidental. At worst, he’s a dirty player, a thug and a liar.

  6. @Bombay, nonetheless, he was punched and Glen should have owned up to it immediately if it were unintentional. The fact that he just went on to the other end of the floor without seeing if Jordan was OK tells me that he either didn’t care or he thought he was getting away with a sneak punch.

  7. Having played hoops , myself, for years I don’t think this is intentional. Yes, GRII could have apologized but since it was such a “bang, bang” type play in tight quarters and the game was still close, I’m not so sure many people would have done that. Sometime these things happen. The one view makes it look like he definitely punched Jordy; whereas, the 2nd view shows it as a reaction to getting untangled and running down to the other end of the floor. I DID see this in the course of the game I wondered what happened to Jordy and why he was holding his eye. All in all, IMHO it was unintentional.

  8. As a former ref it matter little as to intent, no one can read anyone’s mind, so even his defense is meaningless, that said, a strike to the head is a foul and up for review, suspension etc…if GRob_1 has this emotional issue it will come up again, in my mind it was a oppty knock, there was contact under the basket, GROB_1 was getting beat the whole game and he had a closed fist and that fist hit another player square in the head….flagrant 1 and possible discipline by the BIG TEN

  9. I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but his actions after it happens tells me all I need to know about GR3, just like his daddy, he is nothing but a punk.

  10. One other thing that seems to be missing from the discussion. If the contact resulted from Watford “pushing his arm,” why was GRII’s hand balled into a fist? A basketball player does not typically move around on the court with his hands balled into a fist. He might raise his arm and make a fist to celebrate making a shot, but such an expression is not likely to have connected with an opposing player’s face. GRII’s hands were relaxed until he felt someone come up behind him and then suddenly, one hand is balled into a fist. For 99.9999% of the game time, a basketball player’s hands are relaxed, with palm open and fingers ready to receive a pass, make a deflection or shoot the ball. But GRII’s hand was balled into a fist when the contact with Hull’s face was made. Most interesting and suspicious.

    We may never know for sure, but it looks to me as if he was opportunistic and got away with a cheap shot.

  11. Don’t know whether it is intentional or not… the real issue is with the combination of 3 refs, and coach Crean, how did this pass with an explanation that amounts to ‘it was a clean screen’. They didn’t even look at the correct play, then Crean doesn’t even question the explanation. I think Crean was in the moment and didn’t want to argue and probably didn’t see it, that is fine… but after he sees it today, you gotta do something about it.

    I don’t care about suspensions after a game we won, or playing he said she said… How do we bring this up to the B1G and say ‘It is absolutely inexcusable to not offer an explanation for this in reviewing it. If you thought it was on the screen, then watched and Hulls is still standing there fine after the screen, keep rolling the tape to see when he starts holding his face that he is clearly clearing blood from right now.’?

  12. to assume it was intentional is to assume this: Robinson was trying to get a rebound in the paint, looking at the rim, jostling with Watford for position all while punching Jordan Hulls in the face at the same time even though Hulls was out of his view the entire play, even the biggest thug in the nba couldn’t do all those things at once, get over it. Hulls didn’t even get injured, bloody or anything else. He took an inadvertent hit just like he did probably a dozen times playing with Tijan Jobe in practice…Everyone bashing Robinson needs to remember that Elston blatantly tripped a NW player 2 years ago and Austin Etherington punched his own brother in the groin in a HS game…forgive and forget, move on

  13. Clearly unintentional, I think. Robinson was trying to rip his arm away from entanglement with CWat, and had no clue Jordy’s noggin was in the way. Obviously, he could and probably should have paused to make sure Jordy was OK after contact was made, but it is also his job to be getting back on defense at that juncture, so even that is open to interpretation.

    As to the balled-fist point, if you’re trying to rip your arm away from somebody, it’s very natural for the fist to form into a ball. I think that’s exactly what happened here.

    Naturally, I don’t want to see Jordy or any other player get clocked, but I think this was just an accident. The presence GRobIII may have sensed behind him might have been a teammate. No way he knew it was Jordy or any IU guy. Look at Robinson’s head. No way he could have seen who it was, and it’s more likely he didn’t realize anybody was there.

    Having said all that, any blow to the head is cause for concern, even if inadvertent. And given how the NCAA and Big Ten treat elbow-throwing these days (which errs on the side of over-zealousness), it is certainly something that can and probably should be reviewed. But I think intent or lack of it, when demonstrable, should always matter when sizing up these things. I see no intent here.

  14. Bombay, I think I’m mostly with you here, but when did Austin Etherington punch his brother in the groin in a high school game? That would seem counterintuitive considering they played for the same team.

  15. Andy, when you write, “if you’re trying to rip your arm away from somebody, it’s very natural for the fist to form into a ball.” First of all, I don’t agree that it is natural to form a fist in those circumstances. Secondly, GRII was not trying to rip his arm away from anyone, because he was not tangled up with anyone. Your explanation seems like you’re bending over backward to give GRII the benefit of the doubt. GRII has not said, at least to my knowledge, that he was “trying to rip his arm away” from anybody. If that’s what he was trying to do, I think he would have said that. But instead he said CWat hit.bumped his arm, which resulted in his fist making contact with Hull’s face.

    We can never know what GRII’s intent was, and you’re entitled to your opinion as to what happened. But I don’t think it’s necessary to defend the young man by putting words in his mouth. In my opinion, he took advantage of the situation and took a shot. But even if I’m wrong, as I said above, he displayed poor sportsmanship by not making an apologetic gesture or letting Hulls know that it was accidental, either at the time it happened or after the game ended. And that, more than anything else, leads me to believe it was not accidental contact.

  16. Podunker,
    Not sure if it was intentional or not and I think this video has definitely been something of a Rorscharch test. But if you watch the second video, it’s clear that he and Watford had their arms tangled. Whether it makes sense for him to have made a fist or not, I could go either way. But he and Watford were clearly locked in arms.

  17. AG basically has it right. Pulling away from CWat he ran his hand (and balled fist) into Jordy. Looks like he did not know Jordy was there.

    GRIII admits it happened and it was an accident. I believe it. No need for a suspension, no need to drag it out, no need for people to start making baseless comments about the soul and morals of a 18 yo kid who is in a big game in a rough league. Seriously, people get a grip or let us know you are making a bad joke with the overreaction.

    Now, refs review was either in error (looked at screen, never reviewed punch) or flat wrong. This should have been a flagrant foul during the game just as any blow to the head is. But no ejection, no suspension. In the end it did not affect the outcome.

    Moving on as I am certain JH has already done

  18. andy and bombay have it right. it’s strange how something that is so obvious to some is impossible for others to understand. glad bob is a former ref because his analysis is wack.

  19. If Austin Etherington punched his brother, then I think it’s perfectly fine he becomes the next victim of a round of scholly crunch.

    Do we really make that accusation aimed at Austin without full availability of supportive evidence(newspaper article or video tape) to back it up?

  20. Harvard- I was there and saw it but like I was quick to mention I have become a much bigger fan now of Austin than I ever thought I would be after seeing that live 2 years ago. I’ve already asked Dustin to delete that post since it doesn’t paint Austin in a good light, even though it was true, and numerous IU fans from my hometown were there to see it and were just as disgusted…at the same time it does no good to bring it up at this point. Also just for my own credibility- this was all brought up on the inside the hall site (by others, not me) the week that it happened but those posts were deleted by the administrators “because of the negative light it painted towards IU recruits.” Again it’s all pointless at this juncture, I brought it up strictly to show that IU isn’t completely free of players that make mistakes, it just bothered me how one sided everyone looked at the Robinson/Hulls ‘punch.’ I like Elston and Etherington but they both made worse mistakes, in my opinion, than Robinson did.

  21. I agree with the interpretation by Bombay and Andy that GR3 is facing towards the basket and that Watford is holding his arm at the crook of the elbow. GR3 makes an effort to pull his arm away and turn (trying to transition) and pulls his arm away just as Watford lets go of it-in the process tightening his muscles which likely cause it to form into a fist ball- thus the arm picks up speed- just as Hulls crosses behind him and catches the full impact of the punch. I am just as sure GR3 did not see Hulls until the hit. Cody Zeller is the only one in position to see that specific action (within the screen view) and Sheehey perhaps notices it (look at his head and possibly his double take)as he also turns and runs in the same direction as GR3, towards the opposite basket.

    I think it’s physically impossible for GR3 to have seen Hulls since Hulls comes from a greater than 180o, see no intention to foul, much less for a flagrant foul. What could be corrected? Don’t turn quickly and look where you are going?

    Has anyone asked Hulls?

  22. Dan Dakich ‏@dandakich

    Yo @Joshua_Block @nickbaumgardner I watched it a’s a punch to Hulls face.. Don’t pretend 2 know intent but it was close fisted punch

  23. A punch to the head(if intentional) is far worse than a trip or a brother spatting with brother. Austin actually made a fist and slugged him in the kiwis?

    Devan Dumes’s flagrant elbows at MSU a few years back would be a closer comparison to something that could inflict serious injury.

    I’m trying to remember…? Was Dumes a Crean recruit or was he originally brought in by Sampson?

    Sure hope Austin isn’t heading down the road of Devan. I always thought Austin looked like a great kid…Maybe the entire “Movement” only listened to Etherington because they feared his solid right jab to groin…?

    I never knew any of these sever character flaws in Austin…I hope ESPN doesn’t get a hold of this info. Makes me wonder about Cody seeing how he is a very good friend of Autsin.

  24. “Elston blatantly tripped a NW player 2 years ago…”

    I actually think that a respected journalist secretly smirking(on the backside a question outside the view of cameras) at the coach he’s interviewing during a press conference is far more slithery than what Elston did ‘blatantly’ at Northwestern.

    I’m still waiting for the Kellenberger’s take.. ‘COMMENTARY: Dopirak’s smirk demanded more punishment.’

    We know their public personalities, the ones they show for the few minutes they are shuffled in and out of the media room once or twice a week. During those precious moments, I’ve never gotten the impression that Elston is the kind of guy who makes a habit out of tripping his opponent. So I can go along with Crean’s assertation that it would be an out-of-character mistake.

    But it does not erase what happened: a person representing one of college basketball’s proudest programs — a program that blew the whole damn thing up because the last coach made too many phone calls — decided, for that second, to be a goon.

    Can’t happen. Not here. Not anywhere, but especially not at Indiana.

    The Hoosiers are not a good basketball team. They’ve lost six in a row for a reason: the effort is lacking, the team defense is woeful and the offense is a mess.

    But up until the moment Crean decided that he would not punish Elston — that he would not even say the matter would be handled in-house — it was at least a program that could say its integrity was intact.

  25. Guess what, Kellenberger Establishment…?

    When you’re #1 in the nation, nobody gives a rat’s smirk about “integrity.”

    You were jealous of Indiana(smirking behind every HT door) long before an Elston trip and your permanent Establishment vacation to Mississippi.

  26. I’m sorry, but every single one of you who thinks there was a shred of intent there is ridiculous…

    I can’t believe a rational human would interpret it that way. Dakich is trying to sell advertising and gain twitter followers, so he needs to say controversial things… He has an excuse. The rest of you don’t.

  27. I’ve always looked at Dakich as one giant smirk. All his fuel…all his fire…all his climb to radio and ESPN fame can be traced back to the day he wasn’t good enough to be chosen as the head coach of Indiana University. He festers in bitterness and spite from the day he had to clean up the mess of Sampson thugs only to be passed over for a Preacher from Marquette.

    His life is one big manufacturing of the outlandish because Indiana could never take him seriously as a competent basketball coach deserving of a chance.

    Don’t be fooled by how he’s treating this Robinson thing. Indiana broke Dan’s heart and he’ll do anything to overcompensate for the hurt(including the perpetuation pf painting himself and all former IU players/fans as simpletons). It’s his game. It’s his gig. It’s why ESPN eat up guys like Bobby and Dan….Bitter ’til the end.

  28. It is exactly what I thought I saw originally, a closed fist punch to the face, an obvious foul. No mistake about it. The argument is to the intent or not.

  29. I just don’t know what actually happened. It occurred so quickly and Robinson says he didn’t do it, that he’s a patsy. It was a hidden, or magic punch, causing Hulls head to go …back and to the left…. back and to the left.

  30. The reason I thought it looked intentional is he turns and swings about a half second after Jordan touches him. Maybe not – I could see it being either way…. The contact with cwat looks fairly limited from both clips. But it should have been a whistle! But Geoff, don’t call me or anybody else an idiot because we disagree. I am sure you are a fantastic guy but on the Internet you come off like a sanctimonious jerk sometimes…. I probably do sometimes as well.

  31. The ONLY reason anyone sees intent here is because they want to.

    The second angle is definitive. There is NO question. It’s literally impossible for GR3 to know Jordy is coming underneath him on the blind side.

    I never called anyone an idiot. I said “ridiculous”. And honestly I don’t care if I come across as a jerk occassionally.

    When people try to tell me water isn’t wet, and they are sincere, I have 2 choices: be condescending or just feel sorry for them. I guess I feel like being condescending is the lesser of 2 evils because it gives the person the benefit if the doubt that they aren’t “idiots”, while just feeling sorry for them would mean I think they are irredeemable, and not just being ridiculous in the moment.

    Now, if you want to make an argument that Robinson showed very little class or sportsmanship because he didn’t make any gesture that we saw to apologize or see if Jordy was ok, then fine… I can agree with that. But to think, even for one second, after seeing the second video clip that there was intent is “ridiculous”.

    It is shockingly obvious.

  32. Now if the issue is, why wasn’t a flagrant 1 called due to contact to the head… It’s because during the game the refs looked at the wrong thing. They told the announcers they were looking at the screen set by McGary to see if he extended his elbows. If they had continued to watch fr a few more seconds they MAY have called a flagrant 1. I’m still not convinced though. There is lots of incidental contact during rebounds when everyones hands and arms are flailing in the same direction and competing for a small object in tight quarters… You rarely see totally incidental contact called unless it effects the play.

    This was totally incidental.

  33. If you’re running… Most people run with hands balled up. If you’d like you can call it a fist. He was turning to run up the court.

  34. No, the closed fist was not due to preparation to run up court…The closed fist was a natural reflex the result of a hurried action to pulling his slightly bent arm out of an entanglement with Watford’s arm.

    Do the experiment to satisfy yourself…Lock arms with someone..While keeping the arm bent at the elbow, each participant pulls in opposite direction in an attempt to break free. Watford was likely doing a bit of holding..Bigs are constantly doing holds and grabs outside of view the refs in attempts to gain advantage. Anyway…back to the making of a fist. It would be weird as hell to keep an open hand while using your bicep and forearm forces to get out of the lock. It’s a natural flex/reflex to make the fist while employing the strength from the arm muscles. Robinson’s arm breaks free of Watford in the full flex mode…Hulls gets the left hook by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Nobody closes a tight fist while turning to run up court..Maybe Dopirak. Media guys and geeks from Maine would run with tightly clamped fists while playing hoops. When playing hoops, the hands are relaxed in more of a partially closed manner(much like the brisk pace a conditioned runner).

    The making of a fist was the natural reflex to pull away. A certain amount of frustration from being locked up with Watford added to the force once the arm broke free.

  35. Continuing with the hand-flex topic…Oladipo is a little different than most when he runs up the floor. Though not in a sprint, VO almost opens his hands in a flat, sprinter-like, fashion. Have any of you noticed?

    His stride is a bit atypical as well. He’s very upright and doesn’t pick his feet up very much when he’s utilizing his breakaway speed. He covers ground faster because he keeps unnecessary flexing of knee and sway of shoulders to a minimum…Walter Payton ran the football in much the same fashion.

  36. Harvard,

    I said hands balled up. I agree its usually not tight like a fist.

    I agree it was more a reaction to pulling away from Watford, but I think his hand would have not been open either way.

    I am not from Maine. I’m from Indiana. I live in Maine.

    Coachv, it is becoming clear…

  37. Closer to a fist than balled up because he was employing the muscles in his arms to break free. If he was just turning to run up court, then I could agree with balled up.

    But that wasn’t the case…He was clamping his fist tight to yank himself out of the arm entanglement. He’s also using his upper body to pull free(a lot of forces were acting together before the arm broke free to find Jordy’s chops).

    What’s lost in all this discussion is how well Hulls can take a punch. Verdell Jones would have needed four weeks of recovery and six hugs on the floor from Crean to regain consciousness while sprawled out on his back counting stars. There would have been a standing ovation once Jones staggered back up to his feet.. Dustin would have dedicated his entire postgame press conference smirk to the strength of VJ’s chin inspiring the Hoosiers to victory.

  38. Wow, if that game at MI has any meaning, it is going to be a major war. The hype of this last game will be no match for the hype on that game, esp if it means A Big10 title, a top 4 NCAA seed? Wow!!!

  39. “that’s his job”… That statement makes no sense. It’s his job to know where all 9 other players on the court are including the ones behind his head and out of his vision?

    Well, let’s just say it is his job. Have you ever seen a defender ball watch and get back cut? It was DEFINITELY “his job” to know where his man was, but that happens all the time.

    Have you ever seen a point guard (the player with usually the best vision and awareness on the team) lose the ball when someone ran up from behind and tipped the ball away? That happens every once in a while, and it’s definitely “his job” to take care of the ball.

    Have you ever seen a guard defending his man full court and run into a hard screen around mid-court, completely blind-sided? Well isnt it “his job” to know where those guys are so that doesn’t happen? Still does though…

    Happens in college… Happens in the pros… Happened to Michael Jordan…. And it damn sure happened to GR3 on Saturday…

    The eyes in the back of his head were distracted by the slight wrestling match he was in with Watford, and he didn’t do “his job” of seeing Jordy cut from the back of his left side around to his right side as he was turning out of traffic after his eyes on the front of his head were trained on the basket watching the ball go through the hoop.

  40. Geoff, I would agree with you except one thing… Hulls was TOUCHING HIM…. He knew somebody was there. And I don’t see either angle as being “definitive.” I am not sure there was intent. But the contact was to the head and Will would have gotten t’d up!

  41. He was being “touched” by several people leading up to the contact with Hulls. But Hulls came from several feet away and didn’t touch him until he got hit in the face.

    HE CAME FROM THE OPPOSITE ELBOW and cut right in front of the turning GR3…

    Are you people in crazy town…. Seriously! You guys must just be trying to mess with me at this point… It’s the only plausible reason you’d say what you’re saying.

  42. The reason he didn’t get t’d up is because the refs never reviewed the contact. They reviewed the screen set by McGary.

    Will wouldn’t have got t’d up either, because they reviewed the wrong thing.

    Oh, that and it was not a t-able offense.

  43. I guarantee you you show clip #2 to 100 non-Hoosier fans and 98 of them will definitively say there was no intent.

    There’s always 2 moron conspiracy theorists in every group.

    The only reason anyone would see that as intentional is because they have a chip on their shoulder and are viewing it through crimson glasses.

  44. The fist issue…most athletes move with their hands relaxed and therefore partially bent into a loose/soft half fist position. I believe it is instinctive to tighten the fist as the nerves perceive any contact. On the other hand, it is the exact opposite motion by the muscles on the top of the hand that must be tightened to put the hand in a flatter dribbling.

    I agree with the view that it definitely was a fist that meets Jordan’s face (though perhaps not at the tightest ‘punching’ fist possible (more of a protective fist), but there is no question in my mind there was not ‘intent’ by GR3. Whether it was a foul any way, I could say yes. But to call it ‘flagrant’ indicating a purpose would be ridiculous.

    I also agree that GR3 does not see Hulls’ head as it is more than 100o beyond the scope of his sight line when he is struggling with Wattford. It happens. It’s impossible to watch the films (both versions or either) and not come away with the impression it was not intended.

    Again, perhaps someone should ask Jordan what he thought after seeing the film.

  45. It sure looks like Hulls is touching him for over a second before the punch from both angles…. But okay. You guys could be absolutely correct and it doesn’t really matter. But it was fun to have the argument.

  46. For “over a second”… Ok, now I know you’re messing with me…. Or you are confused as to which player Jordan Hulls is. He is the short white guy who a second before getting hit in the face is at the opposite elbow about 8 feet away from GR3.

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