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Big East punishes Tech's Hall for a half

RICHMOND, Va. -- Cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall of Virginia Tech
and Antrel Rolle of Miami were suspended Monday for a sideline
fight in the Hokies' victory against the Hurricanes last weekend.

Hall will miss the first half of the fifth-ranked Hokies' game at Pittsburgh (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 25 AP) on Saturday night, and Rolle will miss all of Miami's (No. 7, No. 6) game against No. 18 Tennessee (No. 17, No. 18).

Hall and Rolle fought near the Miami bench with about five
minutes left in Virginia Tech's 31-7 victory Saturday night in
Blacksburg, which ended Miami's 39-game regular season winning
streak.

Hall was suspended for only a half because he was in the game at
the time of the fight; Rolle was not. The suspension lengths are
automatic under NCAA guidelines governing fighting.

"Certainly I think it's unfair, but that's the way the rule
reads and we'll abide by that," Miami coach Larry Coker said,
alleging Hall threw the first punch.

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said video he'd seen showed "a
push and then a guy swung at air."

League spokesman John Paquette said the decision would stand.

The loss of their best defensive back, even if only for a half,
could be very costly to the Hokies against Pittsburgh, which leads
the Big East and features the top passing tandem of quarterback Rod
Rutherford and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

The Hokies are already short-handed at cornerback, having lost
Garnell Wilds for the season with a knee injury.

The Hurricanes aren't as strapped at cornerback and will
probably start sophomore Kelly Jennings in Rolle's place against
the Volunteers, Coker said.

"We're very fortunate there from the standpoint that we do have
some depth," Coker said.