Earlier this week, Memphis announced suspensions, ranging from half-game to two-game as well banishment from other team activities such as practices and scrimmages, for 12 unnamed players for their roles in the Miami Beach Brawl. For those expecting BYU to do the same, don’t hold your breath.
In September of 2013, BYU announced a five-game suspension for star linebacker Spencer Hadley for violating the university’s honor code. Since then, the football program has adopted a policy of not announcing suspensions any of its football players may be facing. Last season, the athletic department publicly acknowledged a Jamaal Williams one-suspension only after the star running back forced its hand by divulging it on social media and to the regular media.
As Dick Harmon of the Deseret News wrote Wednesday, “the school is out of the ‘announcing student-athlete punishment’ business.” Just because the handling of the aftermath of the brawl following December’s Miami Beach Bowl has been kept behind closed doors at BYU doesn’t mean, though, it’s not being taken seriously. In fact, it appears quite the opposite is the case as, again, Harmon notes.
What is known is that BYU officials and the school’s governing board of trustees were not happy campers about the incident. Discussions and phone calls took place immediately after that game, according to sources close to the situation.
Bottom line is BYU got serious real fast about this incident. It may not have been the first to publicly announce it, as Memphis did, but there has been plenty of sleep lost over this.
As for specific punitive measures any number of Cougar brawl participants may be facing, those “could include extra running (including stairs), being prohibited from attending team functions, being suspended from winter workouts with the team and trainers, missing spring practice, missing part or all of fall camp, or missing part of a game or an entire game or two,” Harmon wrote.