Memphis, BYU, American Athletic Conference pledge review of fight

The brawl between BYU and Memphis after the Miami Beach Bowl. (AP Photo)
The brawl between BYU and Memphis after the Miami Beach Bowl. (AP Photo)

The president of the University of Memphis says he has asked the school’s athletic director to work with coach Justin Fuente in investigating the postgame fight that broke out between BYU and the Tigers after the Miami Beach Bowl.

“We will provide another statement after the completion of that inquiry,” Memphis president M. David Rudd said in a statement issued Tuesday. “We have the highest expectations of sportsmanship for all of our student-athletes at the University of Memphis. I am very confident in (athletic director) Tom Bowen and Coach Fuente’s leadership and know that working together we will be able to ensure incidents like this do not happen in the future.”

American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco released a statement saying he has been in contact with Memphis officials and the league will work with the school in determining violations of the conference’s code of sportsmanship.

Memphis is a member of the American. BYU is an independent in football.

Earlier in the day, Bowen said he and Fuente would review video over the next few days and take “appropriate disciplinary measures.” He added: “Hopefully, it will be a learning lesson for both teams.”

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe tweeted last Monday night that “we expect better of our athletes, even in the face of a difficult loss. We intend to fully review this matter. I apologize to Cougar Nation.”

The Tigers beat BYU 55-48 in overtime in the first Miami Beach Bowl.

After DaShaughn Terry’s game-clinching interception, dozens of players from both sidelines headed toward the middle of the field, with many punching and grabbing. Cameras showed blood streaming from the face of BYU defensive back Kai Nacua as he came from behind to punch Memphis tight end Alan Cross in the head.

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