University of Florida football coach Dan Mullen is among those being punished in the wake of Saturday’s fight between Florida and Missouri.
A Monday press release from the Southeastern Conference announced that Mullen has been reprimanded and “fined $25,000 for violating SEC Bylaws governing sportsmanship” during his team’s 41-17 home win. Furthermore, four Missouri players and two Florida players will have to serve first-half suspensions during their team’s next game.
"There is no place in college football for the kind of incident that took place at halftime of the Missouri at Florida game Saturday night,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “Everyone involved is responsible for meeting sportsmanship standards throughout each game. Running on the field to confront a game official, the gathering of teams in an on-field confrontation and student-athletes throwing punches are all disappointing at any time, but even more so as we work to support healthy competition during a pandemic."
The SEC’s statement noted that Mullen’s fine will be “directed into a fund supporting the SEC’s post-graduate scholarship program.”
Florida’s Zach Carter and Antwuan Powell were ejected from Saturday’s game for fighting, as was Missouri’s Tre Williams for a flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct foul. Those ejections automatically carry half-game suspensions. Furthermore, the SEC office reviewed the video and issued Missouri players Chad Bailey, Dylan Spencer and Markell Utsey half-game suspensions for “fighting action during the altercation.”
According to USA Today, the fight stemmed from the final play of the first half, when Florida took exception to a hit on quarterback Kyle Trask. Players fought while Mullen and Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz appeared to exchange words. Mullen pumped up the crowd while going to the locker room for halftime.
“Everyone’s running to the locker room and it keeps spilling down that way,” Mullen said in his postgame press conference, where he was in a Darth Vader Halloween costume. “Really unfortunate situation. It’s not something we condone, obviously. It’s not something that you really want to see in the game at all.”
“It’s an ugly scene,” Drinkwitz said. “It’s an ugly scene for football, an ugly scene for college football. I’m not proud of it. I don’t know who started it. We’ve got to figure it out and we’ve got to get it fixed. It’s disappointing.”
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