Coaches Express Disappointment With Brawl

By Adam Caparell - October 16, 2006

The reaction to the Miami-FIU brawl that broke out in Saturday’s third quarter was met with universal disappointment by some of the Big East coaches Monday. Played numerous times on highlight shows around the country for the past two days, just about everyone in college football had a chance to watch the transgressions of the Hurricanes and Golden Panthers and no one liked what they saw.

“It’s a coach’s nightmare,” Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said. “They’re young people and sometimes things go the wrong way. No one is happy about it. Hopefully we can all learn from it and move forward.”

“It’s tough. I don’t like to see that at all, I don’t like to see that from anybody,” Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said. “It’s unfortunate for the sport. It reminds you of the players going up in the stands (in the Detroit-Indiana NBA game 2004).

“What I try to tell our players is they need to respect the game of football,” Petrino said.

West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez said behavior and conduct is only ever really brought up at the beginning of the year and that he doesn't feel a need to rehash it with his players mid-season.

“We address really in the very first meeting with the team when we start back in August about the conduct and how you’re supposed to behave,” Rodriguez said. “But you’d like to think that it sinks into all your guys, and you may have one or two, particularly young guys that you may have to harp on early in their careers to make sure they know how to act on and off the field.

“But we don’t really address it much. It’s something that hopefully our guys get the message very early in the career and we won’t have to address it."

A lot of attention has been shown on UConn coach Randy Edsall who kicked off five players for allegedly buying beer and brining it back to their hotel room before the Huskies game against South Florida a week ago. A seemingly rather minor offense compared to what went on in Miami, but one nonetheless Edsall felt he had to address with severe consequences.

“I only do what I think is best for our program,” Edsall said. “I can’t say that I’ve set any kind of standard for anyone else’s program. There’s a lot more to it than went into to it, what people know about it. There was a lot more than anybody else read and had wrote. I just do what I think is best for our program.”

In total, 31 players were suspended for their actions, 13 Miami players and 18 FIU players. And all were only initially suspended for one game.

But the most violent offenders need to be booted from the team, the program, and even school. Officials said harsher sanctions and suspensions could be coming down shortly, and they better be. One came down late today with Anthony Reddick – the helmet swinger – has been suspended indefinitely. Hopefully indefinitely means permanently soon.

Chance are if an average student was caught on film engaging in a dangerous, out of control brawl, they’d be kicked out of school. It happens all the time in these after championship riots. Someone does something stupid, and it’s caught on camera, they’re history. Why shouldn’t the same rules apply on the field?

Larry Coker survived another firing scare when Miami trustees met today, but have reportedly decided to retain Coker until the end of the season at least. But this brawl is just one more blemish for Coker in 2006 and at the rate this year is going, it really looks like he’s going to be hard pressed to survive after all the recent bad behavior his players have been involved in.

Examples from the AP:

- Several Miami players fought with LSU players following the Tigers' 40-3 Peach Bowl win.

- Shortly before the Miami-Louisville game Sept. 16, virtually the entire Hurricanes' roster jumped on the Cardinals logo at midfield, an act widely viewed as a taunting gesture. Afterward, some Miami players chided teammates for that incident.

- A Miami player, Willie Cooper, was shot outside his home shortly before training camp began in what players contend was a robbery attempt. Meriweather returned fire; police said he acted legally.

- Wide receiver Ryan Moore, who was suspended for the Peach Bowl for violating team rules, then suspended again for other infractions, is expected to be charged this week with misdemeanors stemming from an August fight with a woman. He hasn't played this season.

I Stand Corrected

So I was wrong about USC starting off with the No. 1 position in the BCS standings released Sunday.

Their spot as the third team in the Harris Poll didn’t help the Trojans overall cause, despite having a perfect 1.000 computer ranking that no one else could boast. Ohio State had the advantage in the Harris and Coaches polls and that’s what gave the Buckeyes the boast they needed.

West Virginia is a distant fifth and if they end up undefeated – a distinct possibility – people in Morgantown will be crying, but the Mountaineers will only have the university hierarchy to blame thanks to their weak, weak non-conference schedule. West Virginia’s .4600 computer ranking is the lowest for any team in the Top 10 not named Texas, another team with a weak non-conference schedule (their date with Ohio State withstanding).

Fantasy Fallout

Yet another ugly reminder of why you need to fool around with your fantasy lineup earlier than Saturday morning.

Team had its four-game winning streak snapped by Lindy’s after I was unable to change my lineup last minute. Not sure why, I went to do it around 11 am Saturday morning and no one had kicked off from my roster on Thursday or Friday.

So I was stuck with Brady Quinn, Darius Walker and Calvin Johnson all in the lineup during their bye week. It didn’t help that Robert Johnson and Jarrett Hicks earned absolutely nothing for me as well. Needless to say, the final score wasn’t pretty: U-Sports 88.10, 47.80.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 05:11 PM on October 16, 2006

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