October 22, 2011
Viewers of Thursday night's UCLA-Arizona game in Tucson were subjected to a lot of offensive behavior, most of it perpetrated against the sport of football itself in a 48-12 Wildcat win. But while the embarrassment of the final score wasn't bad enough to sideline the Bruins — or their head coach — for a game or two, the embarrassment of a bench-clearing brawl at the end of the first half most certainly was:
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (AP)—The Pac-12 Conference suspended 10 players Friday for their involvement in a fight that occurred during the first half of the UCLA-Arizona football game Thursday night.
"The Conference is extremely disappointed in the actions of the student-athletes involved in this incident," Commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement. "It is unacceptable behavior and violated Conference rules, as well as NCAA fighting rules.
"I have taken these actions today because it is imperative that we hold our student-athletes and coaches to the highest standards of sportsmanship."
Among the suspendees: UCLA receiver Tyler Embree and Arizona cornerback Shaquille Richardson, who were both tossed from the game for instigating the melee and will each have to sit out next week's games against California and Washington, respectively. UCLA defensive tackle Cassius Marsh was hit with a two-game penalty; receivers Randall Carroll, Shaq Evans and Ricky Marvray are on ice for one game, and offensive lineman Alberto Cid will sit for a half. Arizona defensive backs Jourdan Grandon (one game), Lyle Brown and Mark Watley (one half apiece) round out the list. Very naughty boys indeed.
But the players got off light compared to the Arizona student whose sudden emergence from the stands dressed as an official set the chaos into motion. In addition to being tackled, cuffed and paraded off the field in his skivvies in front of halftime entertainers decked out in full 19th Century Mexican regalia, the streaker was also booked on a felony charge:
Jace Michael Lankow, 22, was arrested on charges of criminal impersonation and was booked into Pima County jail Thursday night after his televised streaking at Arizona Stadium. Lankow was released Friday, the jail said.
The criminal impersonation charge is a Class 6 felony. According to Arizona Revised Statutes, the felony can be dropped down to a Class 1 misdemeanor based on the court's review of the defendant's character and history and if the crime was not a dangerous offense.
I might have guessed running onto a football field during live action could get you hit with a trespassing charge; I don't think I would have come up with "criminal impersonation" of a ref. At any rate, unless/until the charge is downgraded or dropped, Lankow faces a year and a half in jail if convicted. He may also face repercussions from the university.
According to a police report, Lankow got on the field via a fake all-access pass he made using an old pass from his days as a student volunteer for the team in 2006. His motivation? Lankow told officers he's applying to be a contestant on the TV show "Wipeout," and wanted a better answer for the application question, "What's the craziest thing you've ever done?" Assuming he's a free man when producers begin casting, they just may have a winner.
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