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EMU football players involved in brawl at 68 Ventures Bowl game at South Alabama

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Posted at 7:51 PM, Dec 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-24 19:51:07-05

MOBILE, Ala. (WXYZ) — A number of Eastern Michigan University football players are in hot water following Saturday’s brawl during the 68 Ventures Bowl game against University of South Alabama in Mobile.

Following EMU’s 59-10 loss to South Alabama, EMU confirms one of its football players punched a South Alabama player — sparking a brawl among players on both teams.

In a statement to 7 Action News, Eastern Michigan University Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Wetherbee condemned the incident and offered an apology on behalf of the university.

The statement said the following:

"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."

South Alabama defensive back Jamarrien Burt was identified as the victim of the punch. As of Sunday, EMU has not identified the player who punched Burt.