FanDuel - WFBC

October 16, 2006

Miami, FIU have 31 suspended for role in brawl: The fight,shown as it happened in this YouTube clip, marred what was supposed to be the beginning of a rivalry between two schools with players who grew up playing each other on high school fields in South Florida.

posted by wingnut4life to football at 09:17 AM - 48 comments

Wow. Yet another chapter in Miami's checkered history. Miami's coach Larry Coker might not make it past this latest fiasco. Fans and alumni alike have been gunning for his job for quite a while now.

posted by wingnut4life at 09:21 AM on October 16

The best thing that could happen to Coker is to get out of there, I think. However, he has been at Miami long enough to to take the blame for the character of the athletes he has recruited, and I am sure that both he and Don Strock are embarressed by the black eye this gives their programs.

posted by mjkredliner at 10:00 AM on October 16

The whole incident was ugly and ridiculous. You take a hard-hitting, violent game and add to it a bunch of taunting between teams, and this is what will happen. There needs to be more action taken, not just having these players miss one (probably meaningless) game. Although I realize FIU was just as much to blame, if not more, for this whole mess, I still can't really support Coker's claim he has full control on this team. I don't think any coach could really have tight reigns on the Hurricanes. Historically, they seem to struggle with these types of situations practically on a yearly basis. It seems to be their never-ending reputation, and behavior like this is more the norm than anyone wants to admit. Without issuing some real strong consequences, such as post-season bans for a year or two, these brawls will continue to take place.

posted by dyams at 10:01 AM on October 16

Any player who swings a crutch,or a helmet,or stomps someone while they are on the ground,should be banned permanently.They not only should be expelled from thier respective schools,they should never be allowed to play college football again.ANYWHERE!!.this was about as a disgusting display of idioticy that I have ever seen in my life.I know football is an intense and violent sport,but that was not football.I have seen gang fights that weren't that bad.SEND A MESSAGE,SEND THEM PACKING!!

posted by mars1 at 10:42 AM on October 16

Coker: "I do have a grip on this program. Never doubt that. Never doubt that." Ever hear of having a tiger by the tail? That's about how much control Coker's grip has apparently given him. I can't believe that anyone thinks one game suspensions are sufficient to change this behavior either. Dyams is right. Strong consequences are in order (and not just for Miami, though their track record may make a clamp down even more imperative).

posted by ctal1999 at 10:46 AM on October 16

Did anybody not see this coming?Miami doesn't field a football team , they field a gang.They have no self-control,and very little control from the coaching staff. They seem to have the Bob Huggins school of recruiting, you know{you can either do your time or join our team}Recruit Thugs and this is what you get.

posted by Tubby Fan at 10:49 AM on October 16

I added a link to a YouTube clip that shows how out of control this was, which isn't done justice by ESPN. A Miami commentator actually celebrates the violence, stating he almost went down the elevator himself to participate. With this incident and the Clemson-South Carolina brawl in 2004, college football has a violence problem that needs to be addressed strongly. The NCAA needs an NBA-style rule that suspends every player who leaves the sideline during a brawl. The idea that taunting leads to this kind of violence is ridiculous. Trash-talking happens in every game and isn't met with a bench-clearing brawl. Coker was already gone after this year. If they still hold classes at the University of Miami, one wonders if they'll ever reach a point where they're capable of being embarrassed by their football team.

posted by rcade at 11:25 AM on October 16

(On Edit: If rcade's link doesn't work try searching. Like I wrote below, it keeps getting dumped, but you have to hear the commentary and see the crowd for yourself.) The video on Youtube keeps getting dumped, but search for it and try to find the the Comcast Sports South live version, rather than the replay on one of the highlight shows. As they seperate the two teams, the color guy says, "That's what I'm talking about. You come into our house you should get your behind kicked. You don't come in the O-B playin' that stuff. You across the ocean over there, you across the city. You can't come over to our place talking noise like that, you'll get your butt beat. I was about to go down the elevator and get in that thing." He keeps going after a bit, "I say why don't they just meet outside in the tunnel after the ballgame and get it on some more. You don't come into the O-B baby, we've had a down couple years, but you don't come in here talkin' smack. Not in our house." And the clip I saw stopped as he said, "You know what we'd be saying right now, "We ready, we ready." All this against the background of the fans going nuts, making the "U" sign. Steve Lyons called, he's wondering if he can send in a resume.

posted by SummersEve at 11:36 AM on October 16

Any player who swings a crutch,or a helmet,or stomps someone while they are on the ground,should be banned permanently Guess mean-joe Green would haven't been able to play ball in todays age :-) I still see those clips of Mean-Joe ripping the helmet off the player and then trying to beat the player with it. They also always show the clip of him kicking the other player in the nads. Guess it's a different era now, because back in the day those type of guys were idolized by the fans, now we're calling for permanant suspension for those types of actions.

posted by bdaddy at 11:42 AM on October 16

I guess I'll be rooting for Duke this weekend. They might stand a chance with all the Miami folks out. Seriously - there should be some heavy duty penalties handed out for this. Thank goodness, it didn't lead to stuff happening off the field between students!

posted by yellowjacket at 11:46 AM on October 16

I am shocked, shocked that "The U" could be involved in such a fracas.

posted by Venicemenace at 12:09 PM on October 16

There is clearly enough evidence that some of these helmet swinging, cleat stomping, crutch wielding players could be charged with misdemeanor or even felony assault. Certain draft picks for the Raiders or Bengals.

posted by irunfromclones at 12:13 PM on October 16

Update on the color-guy. It's Lamar Thomas, yes, THAT Lamar Thomas best known for attacking his pregnant fiancee, then strangling her while their little kid watched. Anyway, his job's in jeopardy. But they'll edit out his words before the scheduled re-broadcast of the game.

posted by SummersEve at 12:40 PM on October 16

It's amazing the one announcer gets fired for something borderline, but somebody may keep his job after basically advocating violence. After seeing the melee, he was exolting the whole situation. Makes me sick and I hope he looses his job for that pathetic job of screaming how nobody comes into Miami and blah blah blah. And I agree that harsher penalties are needed. It is very obvious who some of the major player were, from kicking somebody in the back more than once, swinging your helmet like Conan the Barbian, running on the field with a crutch. If Coker really had control on his team, he'll make the punishments swift and very harsh otherwise, as others have stated, what's to stop them from doing this again?

posted by jmd82 at 01:03 PM on October 16

Nice article, SummersEve. It pretty much sums up the problem and the attitude that goes along with keeping the problem going. Good, hard football doesn't have to include this crap. Look at all the upstanding programs that win, produce a great deal of pros, yet are never involved in behaviors such as this. Coker should be shown the door, and the football program should be put on some sort of probation-type restriction with stipulations that say should this type of situation (or something similar) occur again, the program may be shut down.

posted by dyams at 01:12 PM on October 16

bdaddy: "Guess it's a different era now..." Yeah, things change. Ty Cobb used to sharpen his metal spikes so he could cut up the guy covering second base. It was grumbled about then. He'd be prosecuted now. We've decided (and rightly so) that there's a difference between physicality and brutality.

posted by ctal1999 at 01:29 PM on October 16

Unbelieveable, until you realize it's Miami.....they've gotten away with dirty play for years because they are Miami. The only way you are ever going to convice these people, meaning the players, Coker, the college president, the regents...etc that this behavior won't be tolerated is to cancell the remainder of BOTH teams seasons, forfeit the remainder of the games. Sorry guys, your done. And Coker, see ya, your fired. A one game suspension for Duke? Im sorry, this isn't much of a penalty!

posted by brownindian at 01:40 PM on October 16

Larry Cooker is an idiot. After hearing his response after the game, I can see no proof otherwise. "I think that it will affect the image of our program greatly, but in a positive way," he said. "I think that when they see the video and they see how it was handled they will be impressed with our players." From the Detroit News

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:27 PM on October 16

That Coker quote is unbelievable. The guy's another Barry Switzer -- the leader of an outlaw football program who is proud of their contempt for authority. Fire him yesterday.

posted by rcade at 02:51 PM on October 16

Nah, it's Da U. You go there specifically to learn all about disrespecting authority, right? Right? Heckuva job, Cokie. Heck of a job.

posted by chicobangs at 03:01 PM on October 16

Coker is staying, it appears. Lamar Thomas should be shown the door, who decided to hire him? His performance was equally as disgusting as the one on the field.

posted by mjkredliner at 03:18 PM on October 16

Duhhh. Forgive me spofites.

posted by mjkredliner at 03:24 PM on October 16

Lamar Thomas should be shown the door, who decided to hire him? His performance was equally as disgusting as the one on the field. As despicable the current situation is, you can't really argue with the hireing itself considering his performance of a national championship or two to start his coaching job.

posted by jmd82 at 03:30 PM on October 16

Ahhh, another group of felonies commited in the name of contact sports... Instead of suspensions they should be handing out arrest warrants. Inexcusable and illegal. If I watched my kid get his head stomped while playing college sports, you can bet they would be writing checks...

posted by firecop at 06:55 PM on October 16

Nice - FIU kicks 2 players off the team and makes the suspensions indefinite for 16 others ... Miami simply extends the suspension of 1 player. Way to go, "U" - in a battle of better-of-two-evils, you manage to allow yourselves to be shown how to handle this by a program that's barely division 1A.

posted by littleLebowski at 10:46 PM on October 16

Why the hell would Miami get into a brawl with FIU? FIU isn't going to beat Miami in a million years. The Miami players should have just laughed at being taunted by such an inferior opponent!

posted by TerpFan at 10:50 PM on October 16

From The USA Today: Dennis Poppe, the NCAA's managing director for football and baseball, says he received about 25 e-mails about the [Miami-FIU] incident by mid-afternoon Monday, dwarfed by the 250 to 300 e-mails he got the Monday after the game replay officials blew a call that cost Oklahoma a victory at Oregon. There's something wrong with us, something very, very wrong with us!

posted by SummersEve at 06:24 AM on October 17

Why the hell would Miami get into a brawl with FIU? Their campuses are only a few miles apart, and, according to some reports, quite a few players on FIU have chips on their shoulders for not being up to the caliber, football-wise, to make the cut at Miami, and consequently were not offered scholarships. Also, of course, many of them are rivals from high school days. I was glad to see FIU take a bit harsher a stand against it's players. They seem to be saying that even one incident such as this is too many for their program, and that's good to see. Hopefully it works. Miami, on the other hand, has no hope in hell of ever avoiding these issues. The culture within that team is too deep-rooted. I said it before, and the more I think about it, the more I'm convinced: This program should be put on behavioral probation, and if this type of thing, or something similar, should take place, the football program should be forced to shut down completely. If strict measures are not taken, the team will continue to bring in players with lots of talent, and a severe lack of character and maturity.

posted by dyams at 07:25 AM on October 17

Thomas is out. Dyams, I agree completely, but we all know it ain't gonna happen.

posted by mjkredliner at 08:11 AM on October 17

FIU kicks 2 players off the team and makes the suspensions indefinite for 16 others ... Miami simply extends the suspension of 1 player. The only reason Miami even bothered to extend the suspension of Anthony Reddick was because everyone was screaming for his head for throwing the helmet at somebody. Remember, UM can't let anything like "integrity" or "sportsmanship" get in the way of their pursuit of a BCS bowl bid or National Championship and the resulting multi-million-dollar revenue they bring to the school. So expect them to do the bare minimum when it comes to discipline and call it good. It also wouldn't surprise me to learn that Larry Coker is nothing more than a lame duck coach with the board of trustees and boosters pulling all the strings. It's funny. Miami Vice has returned to television with new episodes, on every Saturday in the fall now.

posted by NerfballPro at 09:27 AM on October 17

Their campuses are only a few miles apart, and, according to some reports, quite a few players on FIU have chips on their shoulders for not being up to the caliber, football-wise, to make the cut at Miami, and consequently were not offered scholarships. FIU also came into that game as a team beaten down by its season. They lost a bunch of close games and then lost a seven-overtime game in Denton against Sun Belt conference opponent North Texas (my alma mater). Fans at that game, which FIU lost in part because their kicker missed several field goal attempts in overtime, said FIU players were so distraught afterwards some were crying. So they go home after that disaster and have to play a paycheck game against a bunch of old crosstown rivals from high school. Though it doesn't excuse the brawl, I can see why FIU was so quick to come unglued.

posted by rcade at 09:58 AM on October 17

Rcade, it sounds like it's been pretty rough, but if they can't deal with one bad season, they'd better hope none of them end up in the draft and get picked by the Lions.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:18 AM on October 17

I grew up in Miami and followed the team from its pathetic teams of the 1970's thru all the glory years of the past 20 since that great game against Nebraska when they won thier first national championship in 1983. What people don't know is that the U of Miami is a great academic school that is actually very hard to get into. The football players they recruit for the most part couldn't get into the school as students. They have to be on scholarship or they wouldnt step foot into the doors of UM! The players are thugs for the most part because most of them come from the mean streets of Miami like Liberty City and Carol City...bad places and high schools that are 100% black. Those places breed bad human beings and they only get recruited because of thier speed and size. What do you expect from these kinds of players? Violence. Plain and simple. You don't see crap like this happening at Notre Dame or Penn State. Miami is a cesspool and they need to clean up the recruiting process that brings in these kinds of thugs. Oh, I forgot..it's all about winning even if it means people think badly about you school. Too bad because a degree from Miami is actually very difficult to obtain.

posted by bluekarma at 10:27 AM on October 17

They have to be on scholarship or they wouldnt step foot into the doors of UM! The players are thugs for the most part because most of them come from the mean streets of Miami like Liberty City and Carol City...bad places and high schools that are 100% black. Most of the schools in the south are recruiting the exact same kids. Growing up in a bad place that is 100% black (I'm not even sure that the racial composition of the school is even relevant, but I am sure that your stats are inaccurate) does not translate into brawls on the football field. And, needing a scholarship to afford a private school like Miami is hardly a mark against your character. Miami likes their football team to have a swagger -- that's why they have these problems.

posted by bperk at 11:54 AM on October 17

Let me start out stating a few of my basic positions: one, that the behavior of the individuals involved in the brawl is inexcusable, two, that maximum punishments must be handed out to these individuals to set an example (up to and including dismissals and suspensions from football), and three, in following that idea, that FIU should be applauded for their response and UM should be castigated. With what I write, let no one mistake this for an excusal of the actions on the part of anyone involved. BlueKarma's note talks about the high academic stardards of the University of Miami, and also dismiss the players as thugs and points out their background. However, those same players are heavily recruited by other schools. Every college football program wants these players from Miami's roughest parts. However, none of these players fit in even slightly with the universities' image, especially with the U of M. It is extremely curious that colleges recruit and promote the athletic program, and specifically the football and basketball programs, and let them develop personalities of their own which in no way shape or form reflect that of their parent school. Money wouldn't be the cause for that, would it? It should be noted that before this, UM had actually been doing a lot better with it's football program's personality and image and not allowing them to be the renegade program that had been the hallmark of the 80s. But all that progress has been thrown away in one incident, and in their response to it. Miami has said that it is ok for them to run a football team hallmarked by thuggery.

posted by Bonkers at 02:07 PM on October 17

I'm sorry, call me oldschool. I beleive they should loose their scholarships and and a few should go to jail. This is college foorball, not the hood. I mean, I played and sometimes you do get mad as hell; but where were those on their team with the level head. I look at this brawl and I think, Hoodlum. If they didn't football ability, they'd be on the street slinging dope, or robbing some store. Whatever happen to integrety, and honor. Is there no one on that team with self esteem? Hoodrats eeveryone of them. It's a shame and all they teceived was a slap on the wrist. I repeat, they should have lost their scholarship and some of them should have gone to jail.

posted by Crickette at 02:18 PM on October 17

I really hate all the 'old school' posers behaving as if this is the first brawl in college football. 'In my day, we walked uphill both ways to the field, where we played like gentlemen.' I call BS. The first college football brawl I can find reference to on the web was in 1893 between those known hoodlums, Army and Navy. Football is a dirty, violent game, and sometimes these things happen. For everyone to get all puritan and uptight about it now is revisionist silliness. If you want to watch a sport where there is no fighting between players, watch basketball... oh wait, that doesn't work. Maybe baseball? maybe not. Hockey? Probably not. So I guess maybe there is cricket for you...

posted by tieguy at 03:04 PM on October 17

Bonkers, the one comments that a counter immediately jumped to mind was that "all that progress has been thrown away in one incident". I'm thinking I remember (albeit possibly mistakenly) that several players were suspended at the beginning of this year. I normally look that stuff up before I post here, but can't take the time at work right now (yeah ... "work", that's the ticket ... "lazy" has nothing to do with it, really). Then, the debacle where they insisted on jumping Louisville's mid-field logo before getting their asses handed to them. While these things happen at other schools (I think less frequently and with less intensity) and neither are indicative of the apocolypse, I don't think they suggest a program that had made much, if any, progess in improving their behavior or image. And, again, I recognize you weren't excusing them - but the clamor for a serious review (whether it be a self-assessment or by the NCAA) of Miami's program seem pretty warranted. Even if you discount this incident as "isolated", if I wee the NCAA, I'd be more worried about Miami's response (or lack thereof) and the fact they churn out and continue to tout knuckleheads like Lamar Thomas.

posted by littleLebowski at 03:23 PM on October 17

rcade - it seems you have tried to inculde a great coach whose players he had no control of while they were not playing football. But I can assure you that there has not ever been a game where the SOONERS acted like that. This was a typical incident with Miami. Maybe you were thinking about Woody Hayes? Even the NFL gave a 5 game suspension, I think, when a player stomped his foot on another player. A one game suspension is a big joke!

posted by rxougrad at 04:19 PM on October 17

The Bud Wilkinson days were very respectable, and Stoops' nose seems fairly clean, I'll grant you that, rxougrad. But OU under Switzer had some pretty unsavory characters and shady goings on, and the NCAA documented it pretty well.

posted by mjkredliner at 05:21 PM on October 17

Football is a dirty, violent game, and sometimes these things happen. For everyone to get all puritan and uptight about it now is revisionist silliness. Times change, tieguy. One of my friends tried the "violent happens" argument too, and I reminded him that football today is a softer sport than it was even 20 years ago. Just look at how NFL quarterbacks are being treated. We don't have to accept sideline-clearing brawls as an occasional biproduct of a violent game. Suspending every player who left the sideline would be easy to do. Sports that allow that level of violence without huge repercussions to the participants are asking for bigger problems like fan-athlete violence. Fans stream out of the stands all the time in college football. They're lucky it didn't happen at that game.

posted by rcade at 06:16 PM on October 17

Just look at how NFL quarterbacks are being treated. They're being hit repeatedly by guys who are as fast as world-champion sprinters of 20-30 years ago, who weigh as much as the average offensive lineman of 20-30 years ago, and who have enough muscle to rip an 'old fashioned tough guy' like Butkus limb from limb. This is softer how? In every aspect, this game is faster, harder, and more violent than it has ever been. The rule changes hide the anti-social aspects of it, but it is still there, in many ways moreso than ever.

posted by tieguy at 11:04 PM on October 17

LittleLebowski, I agree with your comments. I should have specified that UM had cleaned up their image was a look back at the last 10 years or so, basically since probation days ended. But yes, in the last year or so, they have taken huge steps back. I also agree with your comment about the NCAA. NCAA should be telling UM that if they didn't start kicking kids off the team immediately the NCAA would do it, and that they might take some scholarships with them.

posted by Bonkers at 02:19 AM on October 18

I wonder how many people above alluding to instances of this sort of thing as a natural or inevitable extension of the violence of the game have ever played it. Yeah, some nasty shit does happen down there in the trenches, in piles, etc., but football is first and foremost about controlling your aggression. When you lose discipline, that's when things like this (or worse) can happen. I think both schools should suspend (or expel, depending upon the severity of their actions during the melee) players, but beyond that, fire their head coaches immediately. The head coach has to be held accountable for this wholesale breakdown of discipline, and it's the only way to send a message that this thuggish behavior won't be tolerated. With guys 300 lbs + running 40s in less than 6 seconds, the game is plenty dangerous enough when you play it cleanly. This garbage should never happen.

posted by psmealey at 05:37 AM on October 18

Just look at how NFL quarterbacks are being treated. I know. Just look at that Chris Simms pansy. Internal bleeding, near death, what a wuss. Who needs a freakin' spleen. People will always argue football is a violent game and brawls like this are to be expected. But look at all the programs/teams that don't ever seem to be involved in these things. Now compare that with the ones that always seem to be involved. They're playing the same sport for all I know. The difference is what's tolerated from the start when players enter the program, and the understanding that crap like this, which has the potential to ruin a school's reputation, will not be accepted, period.

posted by dyams at 09:00 AM on October 18

reminded him that football today is a softer sport than it was even 20 years ago. Just look at how NFL quarterbacks are being treated. I know. Just look at that Chris Simms pansy. Internal bleeding, near death, what a wuss. Who needs a freakin' spleen. No kidding...what about that wussy Drew Bledsoe, who got hit so hard his lung collapsed and he started bleeding from a torn blood vessel in his chest? Yeah, football is so soft nowdays.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 10:19 AM on October 18

All I can say is that the players that are seen using their helmets as weapons, stomping on players that are down, these kids are "punks, thugs", and should all be kicked off the teams and never be able to play again. these punks are real tuff when they have helmets and pads on. these punks make me sick! and same goes for the player who was in the announcers booth saying his 2 cents. he is a punk and thug also.

posted by vito938 at 03:03 AM on October 19

I know. Just look at that Chris Simms pansy. Internal bleeding, near death, what a wuss. Who needs a freakin' spleen. Billy Volek is another one of those softies. Damn spleens, ruin football for everybody.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 10:42 AM on October 19

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