Sun Belt Reprimands Arkansas State, UL Lafayette Football; Officials suspended
NEW ORLEANS (SBC - The Sun Belt Conference today announced its findings from a thorough review of the October 21 football game between UL Lafayette and Arkansas State. Both football teams, along with five student-athletes, one assistant coach and one member of the football team support personnel, have been reprimanded for unsportsmanlike conduct. Additionally, the officiating crew from the game will be suspended for an upcoming game.
"Numerous incidents occurred during last week's game that required me to conduct an extensive and detailed review," said Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson. "Everyone associated with the Sun Belt Conference, including student-athletes, coaches, officials and administrators, is expected to act with a level of conduct and decorum that includes integrity, fair play and respect for others. In my review, I found that multiple individuals associated with this game did not meet these expectations of fair play and sportsmanship." In total eight unsportsmanlike penalties were called during the game and two players were ejected for their unsportsmanlike conduct. The ejected players were both from Arkansas State – Andrew Tryon, for committing two personal fouls that per NCAA rules resulted in an automatic disqualification; and Xavier Woodson, for spitting on an opposing player. Both of those players are being reprimanded along with their teammates Frankie Jackson and Tres Houston. Jackson committed a flagrant act that went unnoticed by game officials and could have led to a serious injury to a UL Lafayette player during an extra point attempt. Houston's reprimand comes as a result of multiple acts of unsportsmanlike conduct that also went undetected by game officials. For UL Lafayette, Corey Trim is being reprimanded for multiple acts of unsportsmanlike conduct – which included a play that was missed by the officials in which he threw a punch at an Arkansas State player. Additionally, UL Lafayette assistant coach Mitch Rodrigue and strength coach Rusty Whitt have been reprimanded for unsportsmanlike conduct and inappropriate bench decorum. The officiating crew from the game will be suspended for an upcoming game and members of the crew may not be given consideration for postseason bowl game assignments. "Our expectations for sportsmanship and integrity in the Sun Belt Conference are set very high," said Benson. "When individuals fail to meet our standards they must be held accountable." The Sun Belt Conference will have no further comment.