College football fans can’t get enough of the bowl game season.
There are no less than 43 College Bowl games with some of the best teams in the nation.
But this team’s victory celebration turned violent after a losing player threw a vicious sucker punch.
An ugly stain on college football unfolded in Mobile, Alabama, on December 23 in the 68th Ventures Bowl.
An ugly on-field brawl
The game was an admitted blowout, with South Alabama destroying Eastern Michigan 59-10.
So Eastern Michigan players were clearly distraught and accused South Alabama of running up the score.
So, during South Alabama’s celebration and singing of their alma mater, an Eastern Michigan player ran up from behind and sucker-punched a South Alabama player.
The punch from the rear then sparked a brutal and ugly on-field brawl between the two teams.
South Alabama, playing the Bowl game on their home field, cruised to an easy victory in the game.
They led 38-3 at halftime and completely controlled the game from the opening kickoff.
They outgained Eastern Michigan 627 yards to 150 in the game.
The decisive blowout victory was South Alabama’s first-ever bowl victory since they became an FBS school in 2012.
South Alabama’s Coach Kane Wommack said, “A lot of work goes into a moment like this. It goes way beyond just our players this season. … We’ve had a great past, great moments in our present and certainly our best days are ahead of us and that’s really exciting. This is a great moment to build upon, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”
A great victory marred by a brutal attack
But when most sports fans talk about the 68 Venture Bowl, they talk about the unsportsmanlike and frankly criminal actions of an Eastern Michigan player after the game.
As the South Alabama team lined up on the field facing their band to sing the school’s alma mater and salute their fans after a great season, an Eastern Michigan player ran up behind a South Alabama player and, unprovoked, punched him in the back of the head.
That caused an all-out brawl on the field as the fight spread, involving several players from both teams.
Finally, officials intervened, restored some calm, and ended the fight.
In response to the unprovoked attack by one of its players, Eastern Michigan athletic director Scott Weatherbee issued the following statement: “We strongly condemn the actions of some of the student-athletes on the EMU football team in the ugly incident that took place following last night’s 68 Ventures Bowl. We are deeply upset and embarrassed by what happened. Their conduct does not reflect the great pride and high standards we place on the game and our program, and the expectations for good sportsmanship and exemplary conduct of student-athletes on and off the field. What happened was completely unacceptable. We apologize to the Eastern Michigan University community and to the South Alabama team and their fans. I have been in contact with South Alabama Director of Athletics Joel Erdmann to express our sincere apologies, and Coach Creighton has done the same with Coach Womack. We are committed to sharing information and video to fully understand all that occurred. As Coach Creighton stated in the postgame press conference, there is absolutely no place for this kind of incident in the Eastern Michigan University football program. University President James Smith and I have been in contact with Mid-American Conference Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, and we are committed to working jointly to investigate the incident in accordance with institutional and Conference policies. We are continuing to review the situation and the conduct of the student-athletes involved and will take appropriate action as more information is gathered.”
As of now, no punishment for the sucker puncher or any other players has been announced.
Read All About It will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.