Tulsa says it will discipline 13 players for roles in Armed Forces Bowl brawl with Mississippi State

Nick Bromberg
·2 min read

Tulsa is promising consequences for 13 players involved in a post-Armed Forces Bowl brawl with Mississippi State.

The two teams fought immediately after Mississippi State’s win in an absolutely wild scene. Numerous punches were exchanged and there were even kicks involved in the fight.

Friday, Tulsa said in a statement that it would be disciplining players who were involved in the fight.

“We were extremely disappointed by the actions that followed the game,” Tulsa interim athletic director Rick Dickson said. “The university expects all athletic teams to set an example for excellence in sportsmanship and exhibit Tulsa’s values, including integrity and respect.

“The behaviors witnessed after the bowl game do not reflect the TU values we seek to instill in future leaders. As an educational institution, we will take the opportunity to help all our student athletes, not just those being sanctioned, learn from this teachable moment and ensure it won’t happen again.”

FORT WORTH, TX - DECEMBER 31: A fight breaks out after the game cancelling the trophy presentation after the Armed Forces Bowl game between the Tulsa Golden Hurricane and the Mississippi State Bulldogs on December 31, 2020 at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Mississippi State and Tulsa players brawl after the Armed Forces Bowl. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

AAC accepts Tulsa’s punishments

No players or consequences were specified in the release, though the American Athletic Conference said it had accepted Tulsa’s recommended actions as part of a review of the fight.

“While we remain disappointed that the actions of a few individuals overshadowed a competitive and entertaining bowl game, I would like to commend The University of Tulsa for its thorough and decisive action,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement.

Mississippi State has yet to officially announce any discipline for players that were involved in the fight but that’s likely going to be a formality. Athletic director John Cohen said just days after the fight that he was “deeply concerned” by the actions of the players involved in the fight and that the university would be conducting a review of what happened.

Mike Leach’s odd reaction

MSU coach Mike Leach’s reaction towards the fight in the immediate aftermath was perplexing. He was in the stands taking pictures with fans as the fight started and didn’t seem all that concerned with what had taken place on the field after his team’s win. He must not have seen one of his players kick a Tulsa player.

“This is a football game so we’re not going to be tearing cloth over this deal,” Leach said on ESPN after the game. “Somebody went to a football game and somebody got hit. There’s a point where I’m not going to lose my mind over it. I just don’t like that we’re undisciplined in some situations where if you control yourself mentally and emotionally you put yourself in a better position.”

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