The University of Memphis football team took part in one of the most memorable moments of the 2014 Bowl season, and not in a good way.
12 unidentified Tigers players were suspended indefinitely following the Miami Beach Bowl brawl that took place following their 55-48 win over BYU. The fight took place just moments after Memphis stormed the field following the win and was a poor display in judgment by both squads.
“We hold our student-athletes to the highest standards of sportsmanship and personal conduct at the University of Memphis,” Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen said in a statement published by the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. “The actions of a few members of our football program in Miami were completely unacceptable. I can assure our community, fans and stakeholders that we have and will continue to hold our young men and women accountable and will use this unfortunate incident as a teaching tool for all our student-athletes moving forward.”
According to the program, the suspensions will range from half-game to two games punishments specific to each players part in the incident. Head coach Justin Fuente will also prevent these players from participating in both practices and meetings on top of forcing them to attend mandatory anger management classes. Still, it remains to be scene, which players will be affected by the decision and the specific lengths of the suspensions handed out by coach Fuente.
The Tigers 2015 opening game opponent has not yet been scheduled, but the team will reportedly face the Kansas Jayhawks in week two and the contest could become that much more difficult without key players involved in the brawl. No matter what occurs on the field, Fuente has done an excellent job setting an example for his players and showed them that their actions reflect the program as well as the institution.
*Section Photo credit to Rob Fold, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Wilfred Lee, Associated Press