Monday, October 16, 2006
Miami extends Reddick's suspension; FIU dismisses 2
ESPN.com news services
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The University of Miami extended the
suspension of one player and said further disciplinary measures
will be taken in the wake of a sideline-clearing brawl with Florida
Sophomore safety Anthony Reddick was suspended indefinitely
following further consultation Monday with the Atlantic Coast
Conference, the school said. Reddick charged across the field,
helmet raised over his head, and slammed it into an opposing player
during the melee.
Meanwhile, the Golden Panthers took a much harsher stance --
dismissing two players, Chris Smith and Marshall McDuffie Jr., and
extending the suspensions of all other 16 sanctioned players
The 16 suspended FIU players will be placed on athletic probation for the remainder of the academic calendar year, must complete 10 hours of anger management counseling, and will undertake a community service project to educate South Florida youth on appropriate behavior as related to athletics, the Miami Herald reported on its Web site Monday.
"This is certainly embarrassing. It's disgraceful. It's
amazing. I've run out of words," FIU coach Don Strock said.
"There's no place for it in college football or football period.
This is way overboard. I apologize to all the fans of college
football for this taking place."
Smith and McDuffie will remain on scholarship at FIU.
One-game suspensions for Reddick and 12 Miami teammates were
announced Sunday. Other disciplinary measures for the players may
include community service and other unspecified actions, the school
said in a statement.
Miami president Donna Shalala said in an open letter that the
fight was "outrageous."
"Regardless of who started it, this was an embarrassing display
of unsportsmanlike behavior," Shalala wrote. "Fortunately there
were no injuries."
The ACC and Miami (4-2) suspended Reddick, Carlos Armour, Chris
Barney, James Bryant, Tyrone Byrd, DajLeon Farr, Ryan Hill, Bruce
Johnson, Charlie Jones, Brandon Meriweather, Brian Monroe, Derrick
Morse and Randy Phillips.
All will miss Saturday's game at winless Duke.
"These suspensions send a clear and definitive message that
this type of behavior will not be tolerated," Swofford said.
In addition to McDuffie and Chris Smith, the Sun Belt Conference
and FIU (0-7) suspended Michael Alls, Scott Bryant, Roland Clark,
Michael Dominquez, John Ellis, Cory Fleming, Reginald Jones, Robert
Mitchell, Quintin Newman, Luis Pena, Jarvis Penerton, Julian Reams,
Lionell Singleton, Samuel Smith, Mannie Wellington and Chandler
They'll miss FIU's next game Oct. 28 at Alabama.
"There is no place in higher education for the type of conduct
exhibited," Sun Belt commissioner Wright Waters said.
The NCAA, in a statement released Monday, called the fight
"It is hoped that the actions taken by Miami, FIU and the
conferences will send a message that such behavior is not
tolerated," the NCAA statement said.
There were many instances of heated words being exchanged during
-- and before -- the game.
But shortly after halftime, unsportsmanlike turned into unruly.
Bryant bowed to the crowd after catching a touchdown pass with 9
minutes left in the third quarter. Moments later, Chris Smith
wrestled Miami holder Matt Perrelli to the ground and punched him,
and McDuffie kicked Perrelli in the helmet.
"For us," FIU athletic director Pete Garcia said, "one
incident is one incident too many."
Morse jumped onto the Smith-Perrelli pile, Singleton followed
and tried to punch the Hurricanes' Calais Campbell -- and benches
began to empty.
"It's a real embarrassment," FIU linebacker Keyonvis Bouie
said, "especially for our school. ... I'm just really disgusted
with our players and the way we handled the situation."
Several players from both sides appeared to throw punches.
Meriweather was seen attempting to stomp on FIU players, while an
injured Golden Panther swung a crutch menacingly at several Miami
The suspensions come at a terrible time for Miami, which has six
ACC games remaining -- and probably needs five wins to even have a
chance at playing for the conference title.
Yes, Miami is playing winless Duke next. But the Hurricanes will
play that game without their best kick returner (Johnson), their
second-best running back (Jones), two key secondary members
(Meriweather and Randy Phillips), their right guard (Morse) and
their punter (Monroe).
Plus, starting right tackle Jason Fox and linebacker Jon Beason
were injured in Saturday's game. While Fox's availability for the Duke game isn't known, Beason is expected to miss at least three weeks with a torn ACL, ESPN's Joe Schad reports. Beason, one of Miami's best defensive players, was not injured in the brawl.
Suddenly, what could have been an easy game doesn't look so easy
Meanwhile, FIU would have been a big underdog at Alabama anyway,
but now will visit the Crimson Tide without nearly half of its
regular starting lineup.
"I can promise you," Strock said, "that this will never
It's the latest in a disturbing series of incidents for Miami in
• Several Miami players fought with LSU players following the
Tigers' 40-3 Peach Bowl win.
• Shortly before the Miami-Louisville game Sept. 16, virtually
the entire Hurricanes' roster jumped on the Cardinals logo at
midfield, an act widely viewed as a taunting gesture. Afterward,
some Miami players chided teammates for that incident.
• A Miami player, Willie Cooper, was shot outside his home
shortly before training camp began in what players contend was a
robbery attempt. Meriweather returned fire; police said he acted
• Wide receiver Ryan Moore, who was suspended for the Peach Bowl
for violating team rules, then suspended again for other
infractions, is expected to be charged this week with misdemeanors
stemming from an August fight with a woman. He hasn't played this
And now, perhaps, comes the worst blow.
Still, Miami coach Larry Coker -- who has been under fire all
season and whose job security seems to be a constant source of
speculation -- bristled when asked if he has control of his team.
"I do have a grip on this program," Coker said. "Don't ever
doubt that. Don't ever doubt that."
About two dozen members of the University of Miami board of trustees met for two hours on Monday morning, spending the last 30 minutes discussing Saturday's ugly brawl with Florida International and the future of Hurricanes coach Larry Coker.
|Gene Wojciechowski's take
Something has to change at Miami, beginning with the punishment. Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford meant well when he initially issued a one-game suspension for all 13 UM players involved in this disaster area, but the penalty was laughable. It isn't a slap on the wrist; it's a soothing caress and manicure.
• For more of Gene Wojciechowski's analysis, click here.
• Bill Curry's take
• Bruce Feldman's take
• TV analyst Lamar Thomas tells the Dan Patrick Show he got "caught up in the moment" during the FIU-Miami brawl and doesn't condone fighting. Listen
• Mike and Mike discuss the brawl and Thomas' unbelievable comments about what was going on. Listen
• Miami alumnus Michael Irvin says Thomas should be fired for his comments during the FIU-Miami telecast -- and says the incident adds to reasons why Larry Coker should be fired. Listen
• David Albright and Ivan Maisel discuss what has, what is, and what should happen to Miami and FIU after the brawl. ESPNU College Football Insider
• Joe Schad talks about the Miami-FIU fallout and addresses some of the other hot topics in college football. Listen
According to the trustee who attended the meeting, President Donna Shalala said: "Nobody's job is in jeopardy now."
Shalala, the trustee said, is standing by her committment to Coker, at least through this season, adding that the fight was "embarrassing" but "not cause for dismissal."
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN's Joe Schad was used in this report.