Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen said he and head coach Justin Fuente will review the video footage of the fight, which took place immediately after the Tigers beat the Cougars 55-48 in double overtime, over the next few days. At that point, “appropriate disciplinary measures” will be issued to student-athletes.
“Hopefully, it will be a learning lesson for both teams,” Bowen said, per the Associated Press.
After the game, Fuente said the fight was not representative of the Memphis program.
“I don't know what happened at the end, first of all, so I don't know how upset I am," Fuente said. “I'm sure I'll see it eventually. It's not who we are, it's not what we want to represent. I hope it doesn't take away from an incredible football game, for both sides.”
Memphis is a member of the American Athletic Conference, and in a statement, AAC commissioner Mike Aresco expressed his displeasure and said that the conference will work with the school to review the incident.
“I have communicated with the University of Memphis, which is committed to the highest standard of sportsmanship for its student-athletes. The conference office is working with the university to review the Miami Beach Bowl post-game altercation pursuant to our conference’s Code of Sportsmanship review process. The university will respond accordingly following this detailed review. Needless to say, we are extremely disappointed that this happened, as we expect the highest standard of conduct from our student-athletes.”
BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe issued an apology to Cougar fans on Twitter on Monday night.
We expect better of our athletes, even in the face of a difficult loss. We intend to fully review this matter. I apologize to Cougar Nation.
— Tom Holmoe (@TomHolmoe) December 23, 2014
As an independent, BYU is not subject to any potential punishment from a conference. However, the athletic department may decide to punish individual players.
“You want them to rise above that and have fantastic sportsmanship,” BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said after the game. “I'm sure if you go back and look, there'll be an instance or two that ignited. Probably the majority wanted to handle it really well.”
For more Memphis news, TigerSportsReport.com.
For more BYU news, visit CougarNation.com.
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