Kent State loses MAC tournament final after 4 players suspended over 'f*** Akron' Snapchat video

The Mid-American Conference announced on Saturday that four Kent State players had been suspended for taking part in a profane Snapchat video aimed at Akron, their opponent in the MAC Tournament final on Saturday night.

Kent State would go on to lose 75-55 to the Zips, a bitter what-if for a program that was on the verge of its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2017.

DJ Johnson, Malique Jacobs, Cli'Ron Hornbeak and Julius Rollins were all suspended for varying lengths of time for posting and/or participating in the video, which was posted on Friday night sometime after Kent State's victory over the Ohio Bobcats. Johnson was suspended indefinitely, while Jacobs, Hornbeak and Rollins were all suspended for the first half of the tourney final against Akron.

Of the three players allowed to return in the second half, only Jacobs made an appearance. He finished with seven points on 3-of-5 shooting with four assists and three rebounds.

Johnson was suspended the longest because the video was posted to his account and featured him prominently. In the video, which has since been deleted, he appears to be in the Kent State locker room, flashing his middle finger and chanting "f*** Akron" in time to the song playing in the background. Jacobs, Hornbeak and Rollins all appear at different points during the video.

There's history between Kent State and Akron

Kent State and Akron have a longtime rivalry, fueled in part by their proximity to each other. The two Ohio universities are separated by less than 15 miles and are constantly battling each other in the MAC. It's a rivalry that produces endings like this, when Kent State beat Akron by two points in February and proceeded to celebrate directly in front of Akron fans.

It's not known if a specific incident prompted the Snapchat video, or if it was just four college basketball players psyching themselves up for their next opponent after a conference tourney win. Either way, the Golden Flashes ended up paying a heavy price.

KENT, OH - DECEMBER 09: Kent State Golden Flashes forward DJ Johnson (5) and Detroit Mercy Titans guard/forward Noah Waterman (1) look to rebound during the first half of the men's college basketball game between the Detroit Mercy Titans and Kent State Golden Flashes on December 9, 2021, at the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center in Kent, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
DJ Johnson and three of his Kent State teammates were suspended for their participation in a profane Snapchat video that was targeted at their MAC rival Akron. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)