SEC issues statement, fines and suspensions for Florida-Missouri brawl

Georgia football-Greg Sankey-SEC
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey has spoken on the Florida-Missouri brawl.

ATHENS — Florida’s halftime brawl with Missouri doesn’t figure to have as much of an effect on the Gators’ game with Georgia as some speculated.

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Florida defensive lineman Zach Carter and linebacker Antwuan Powell were ejected on Saturday and by rule will miss the first half of the Top 10 showdown between the No. 5-ranked Bulldogs and No. 8 Gators at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday (TV: CBS).

Florida coach Dan Mullen, who ran on the field and seemed to provoke the Saturday night brawl in Gainesville, was fined $25,000 and publicly reprimanded.

Four Missouri players involved in the fight will be suspended for the first half of the Tigers’ home game with Georgia on Nov. 14 in Columbia.

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey issued a statement on the Florida-Missouri halftime brawl:

“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.  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.”

Further, according to the SEC release:

Florida head coach Dan Mullen has been issued a reprimand by the Southeastern Conference and fined $25,000 for violating SEC Bylaws governing sportsmanship following Saturday’s football game between the University of Missouri and University of Florida. 

Fines levied against schools and individuals in the Conference are directed into a fund supporting the SEC’s post-graduate scholarship program.

Immediately following the altercation on Saturday, Florida defensive lineman Zach Carter and linebacker Antwuan Powell were ejected for the remainder of the game for fighting and Missouri outside linebacker Tre Williams was ejected for a flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct foul.

According to NCAA Football Playing Rule 9.5.1.b., the ejections for fighting carry an automatic half-game suspension for the next game.  Carter and Powell will serve suspensions for the first half of Florida’s game against Georgia in Jacksonville.

 The SEC office also issued a half-game suspension for Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey, offensive lineman Dylan Spencer and defensive lineman Markell Utsey for fighting action during the altercation after reviewing video footage. 

All three players will miss the first half of Missouri’s game against Georgia on Nov. 14.  The Tigers’ have an open date this Saturday.

The SEC release cited the definition of “fighting”  per NCAA rules:

RULE 2, SECTION 32. Fighting

ARTICLE 1. Fighting is any attempt by a player, coach or squad member in uniform to strike an opponent in a combative manner unrelated to football.

Such acts include, but are not limited to:

  1. An attempt to strike an opponent with the arm(s), hand(s), leg(s) or foot (feet), whether or not there is contact.
  2. An unsportsmanlike act toward an opponent that causes any opponent to retaliate by fighting (Rules 9-2-1 and 9-5-1-a-c).

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