Rivalries have a way of turning chippy at any given moment. For UNLV and Nevada, tensions boiled over after UNLV scored a game-winning touchdown in overtime for a 33-30 victory. Immediately after Steve Jenkins sealed the walk-off win for UNLV, players began fighting and ugliness ensued.
Video of the incident showed a Nevada player shove a UNLV player to the ground during the postgame celebration after charging toward him. As the melee continued, the pushing and shoving made its way against the stands, where fans were throwing objects onto the field. At one point, a UNLV player appeared to have his helmet ripped off from above by a fan.
Be warned, the language in the first video shared below is not exactly family friendly.
As you might expect, both universities were quick to respond to the postgame shenanigans, and they did so with a joint statement from the athletic directors of both schools.
“The events that occurred following today’s football game have no place in college athletics and we are deeply disappointed by this incident, which detracts from what was a hard-fought and emotional football game between our state’s only two NCAA programs,” the joint statement from Nevada AD Doug Knuth and UNLV AD Desiree Reed-Francois said. “We are examining all available video from the incident and working with the Mountain West office in a full review. Additionally, we are working with the University of Nevada, Reno Police Department to review the actions on the field and in the stands after the game.”
While UNLV’s season comes to a close with a 4-8 record, sending Tony Sanchez off with a win that will be mired in ugliness, this could have some ramifications for Nevada. The Wolfpack will be going to a postseason bowl game, but an incident like this could result in suspensions from within the program or straight from the Mountain West Conference office. Nevada head coach Mike Norvell didn’t necessarily excuse the actions by any member of his team, but did seem to suggest UNLV had a hand in starting it.
Expect a statement from the Mountain West Conference in the coming days as this incident is reviewed.