- South Carolina-Clemson brawl
unreferenced = December 2007
The South Carolina-Clemson brawl was an on-field altercation during an NCAA game between football players from the
University of South Carolinaand Clemson University. The incident took place on November 20, 2004at the Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina. This disturbance led to serious repercussions for those involved from the SEC (South Carolina's conference), ACC (Clemson's conference), NCAA, and the legal authorities.
Prior to the contest, a few South Carolina players congregated at the bottom of "the Hill" at Memorial Stadium. As the Clemson team ran down the hill into the stadium some of the Gamecocks taunted them and some shoving occurred.
Later, a massive fight resulted during the fourth quarter after Clemson defensive end Bobby Williamson tackled South Carolina quarterback Syvelle Newton and lingered on top of him [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=1929371 ESPN - Both teams were bowl eligible - College Football ] ] [ [http://www.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/stories/101906abn.html Clemson, South Carolina Reflect On Past Brawl :: Two teams had plenty of time off between games after ugly brawl ] ] . Some players on the field from both teams engaged in shoving and punching and both benches practically cleared as chaos erupted on the field. State Troopers, as well as other local law enforcement officers, entered the field to restore order. No fans ever entered the field. Play was suspended for six minutes.
The fight overshadowed the last game
Lou Holtzparticipated in as Carolina's head coach, as he retired at the end of the season. Holtz quoted that he "is going to be remembered along with [former Ohio State coach] Woody Hayesfor having a fight at the Clemson game". Holtz then handed the coaching reins to Steve Spurrier. Clemson won the game 29-7.
The following year (2005), in a showing of sportsmanship which was coordinated by both schools' athletic departments and administrations, both teams met at midfield at
Williams-Brice Stadiumat the University of South Carolina and shook hands.
The ACC and SEC reviewed the tapes of both incidents before handing out proper punishments to players. However, both schools imposed a punishment of their own on
November 22, by saying that neither team would be permitted to play in a bowl game because of the brawl.
Both the SEC and ACC suspended players from each school, with the SEC's penalties effective for South Carolina's first game of the 2005-06 season, against Central Florida, while the ACC allowed Clemson to stagger the suspensions for their offending players at various games during the 2005-06 season.
First, the ACC's policy on players serving suspensions permitted Clemson to punish the players during the season, and not an immediate penalty during the Tigers' first game of 2005, against Texas A&M. Some of the offending players were involved in the crucial game, which resulted in a Tigers win in the final seconds of the game. The penalties were served, based on a case-by-case basis, in midseason games against the winless Temple and one game winner Duke. This appears to have been a way to make the punishment equal to that meted out to USC players and to have equal impact on the two teams' following seasons.
The SEC's policy forced South Carolina to punish its players for the Central Florida game, the first game of the ensuing season.
Some believe if the schools had allowed postseason play, the penalties would have been stiffer with more justice, as the seniors involved in the brawl would have faced suspensions like the non-seniors, at postseason games likely against Minnesota (South Carolina) and Boston College (Clemson). Furthermore, the games which the players would have served their suspension would have been against a better caliber team, and the conferences would almost certainly have dropped a tougher penalty on the offending non-seniors.
* [http://www.ifilm.com/ifilmdetail/2657365 Video of the University of South Carolina-Clemson Brawl]
Miami-FIU brawl, a similar incident during a 2006 college football game
Pacers-Pistons brawl, a noteworthy NBA brawl which occurred the night before the South Carolina-Clemson brawl.
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