‘Ban them for two years’: Investigation after wild brawl erupts in college football clash between Mississippi & Tulsa (VIDEO)
Shortly after the game at Fort Worth in Texas – which the Mississippi State Bulldogs edged 28-26 – a mass brawl erupted as players were seen charging down the touchline, punching and kicking each other.
A massive brawl broke out at the end of the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl between Tulsa and Mississippi State. pic.twitter.com/zfaq912SWU— ESPN (@espn) December 31, 2020
It’s still unclear what exactly triggered the ruckus, which saw Tulsa safety Kendarin Ray being helped from the field after suffering what his coach said was likely a concussion.
Tulsa and its conference the AAC have said they will look into the chaotic scenes and issue sanctions if necessary.
"We will work with the University of Tulsa to conduct a thorough review of the altercation pursuant to our Conference Code of Sportsmanship process and expect that the university will respond accordingly," said AAC commissioner Mike Aresco, ESPN reported.
Bulldogs coach Mike Leach described the ugly scenes as “dumb” but did not clarify what had caused the tensions to flare up.
"The root of it's dumb, no matter what the root of it is,” Leach said.
“The root of it's dumb and the continuation of it's dumb. I would have that solidly in the category of dumb. Now where the dumb started, I'm not entirely sure."
His Tulsa counterpart Philip Montgomery also didn’t disclose the flashpoint for the violence, but said his team would always “stand up for each other.”
"We're a team that is going to stand up for each other and we're going to battle," Montgomery said.
"We talked about faith, family, football, and family is going to take care of family. We're a team that has battled all year long.
"We battled again today, and from that standpoint, our guys are going to continue to protect each other and go from there."
Meanwhile, some fans called for hefty sanctions for both sets of players – including a lengthy ban and scholarship reductions – with some even outlandishly claiming it was worse than the infamous Penn State child sex abuse scandal.
Two year bowl ban needed for both teams along with scholarships reductions for football players. This is bigger than the Penn State scandal. Corporate sponsors are impacted and money to universities.— METATRON (@Metatron_Rules) December 31, 2020
Twenty years ago this would be shocking. Today, this isn’t even a surprise. No control, no discipline, no class...... typical of many, not all, but many college programs these days. Fights and stuff like this will increase.— lakeswimmer (@lakeswimmer2) December 31, 2020
Others, however, dismissed the row and claimed far worse happens in the likes of ice hockey, while accusations were traded over who had sparked the brawl.
similar shit happens in hockey all the time but when it happens in football everyone freaks out and wants to throw the players in jail lol— Josh Allen 2020 NFL MVP (@BuffaloTimBits) December 31, 2020
#4 for Missippi St kicked the guy on the ground once and sprinted away. He will be telling the story of how tough he was for years— Josh Grant (@simplyfollowed) December 31, 2020
The Armed Forces Bowl, sponsored by US military giant Lockheed Martin, is an annual postseason game which was first held in 2003, and typically takes place at the 45,000-seat Amon G. Carter Stadium on the campus of Texas Christian University.