The Miami Beach Bowl brawl Monday that overshadowed a terrific game between Memphis and BYU had athletic directors from each school expressing utter disappointment, according to Yahoo News. The athletic directors expressed great regret over the Miami Beach Bowl brawl after the Tigers' 55-48 overtime victory over the Cougars.
Tom Bowen, Memphis' athletic director, said he and head coach Justin Fuente will be reviewing the video footage of the Miami Beach Bowl brawl over the next few days. The fight took place immediately after the Tigers beat the Cougars 55-48 in double overtime.
At that point, "appropriate disciplinary measures" will be issued to student-athletes, Bowen said, per the Associated Press. "Hopefully, it will be a learning lesson for both teams."
Fuente meanwhile said that the Miami Beach Bowl brawl did not represent 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."
A member of the American Athletic Conference, Memphis said in a statement via AAC commissioner Mike Aresco that they are displeased with the Miami Beach Bowl brawl.
The conference will reportedly be working with the school to review the entire Miami Beach Bowl brawl.
"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."
Tom Holmoe, BYU's athletic director, also issued an apology to Cougar fans via Twitter 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
BYU is not subject to any potential punishment from a conference since it is an independent. However, the athletic department may decide to punish individual players due to the Miami Beach Bowl brawl.
"You want them to rise above that and have fantastic sportsmanship," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said following 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."
The Miami Beach Bowl brawl is described as one of the ugliest postgame bowl moments in years. After Memphis picked off a pass from BYU quarterback Christian Stewart to seal a wild 55-48 double-overtime victory, things escalated into ugly as players from both teams started punching each other.
During the Miami Beach Bowl brawl, cameras showed blood streaming on the face of BYU defensive back Kai Nacua. He reportedly came from behind to punch Memphis tight end Alan Cross, who at the time was being restrained by someone from the Tigers' staff. Helmets were also thrown and sucker punches were apparent too.
The Miami Beach Bowl brawl was similar to another college football game in Miami several years ago between Miami and FIU, NBC Sports reports.
Memphis guy who swung his helmet. https://t.co/DwlHadnZ59
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) December 22, 2014
More from the brawl https://t.co/MGI3H2BssG — Mitch Harper (@Mitch_Harper) December 22, 2014
Cheap shot of the year! https://t.co/8NCKgl0t2N
— Chris Haynes (@CnizzleMD) December 22, 2014