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Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Schools asked to mete out discipline for postgame brawl

Associated Press

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The president of the university system that oversees both North Carolina A&T and North Carolina Central wants the schools to be responsible for disciplining those involved in a postgame brawl.

Erskine Bowles, who leads the University of North Carolina system, spoke with the colleges' chancellors about Saturday's fight.

"We are all in complete agreement that this sort of unsportsmanlike behavior was just plain wrong, and that it will not be condoned or tolerated within our university," Bowles said in a statement released by his office.

"I am confident that both chancellors are going to handle this matter appropriately on their own campuses and will take steps to ensure that this sort of thing doesn't happen again."

The fight broke out shortly after N.C. Central intercepted a pass to seal the 27-22 victory and the Eagles stormed the field and jumped on the A&T logo, prompting the Aggies to confront them.

Coaches were unable to stop the melee, and after several minutes at least one police officer from Central used pepper spray to break it up. The schools said nobody was hurt, but N.C. Central suspended an unidentified player for this week's game against Presbyterian.

It is unclear whether North Carolina Central and North Carolina A&T will meet as scheduled next Aug. 30 in Durham.

"We owe them a game, and at some point, we will honor our agreement that we will return the game," A&T athletic director DeLores "Dee" Todd said. "When that's going to be, I can't say."

Neither Todd nor Central athletic director Bill Hayes returned phone messages left Tuesday by The Associated Press.

"We've moved on, and we're looking forward to playing Presbyterian this weekend," first-year coach Mose Rison said at his weekly news conference.

The chancellors of the schools, Charlie Nelms of N.C. Central and Stanley F. Battle of A&T, issued a statement Monday night saying no decision has been reached about the series, but "we are jointly collaborating as sister institutions to decide the best course."

The game was billed as the return of a rivalry between two historically black schools that dates back to 1924. It was the teams' first meeting since N.C. Central beat A&T 23-22 in 2005.

N.C. Central is playing its first season in Division I as an independent after moving up from Division II. A&T is a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference of Division I's Championship Subdivision.

The Eagles have expressed interest in joining the MEAC, the league they helped found in the 1970s. They left the conference when it was reclassified into Division I.