Who started the mass brawl between Eastern Michigan and South Alabama?

The Eastern Michigan Eagles, standing at 6-6 this season, entered the field aiming to strengthen their position in the Mac West against the 6-6 South Alabama Jaguars. Although the match was expected to be closely contested, it unexpectedly made headlines for an on-field brawl among the players.

Despite the Jaguars securing a commanding 59-10 victory over EMU, the game’s limelight shifted to the unsavory brawl, reminiscent of the altercation between West Virginia and the Oklahoma Sooners.

Who started the brawl between Eastern Michigan and South Alabama?

The 68 Ventures Bowl between Eastern Michigan and South Alabama ended on a sour note as Eastern Michigan defensive back Korey Hernandez ignited a brawl, tarnishing the post-game celebrations.

The incident unfolded after South Alabama secured a resounding 59-10 victory over Eastern Michigan at Hancock Whitney Stadium on Saturday.

As South Alabama’s players, cheer squad, and band gathered to sing their alma mater in front of home fans, Hernandez ran onto the field and delivered a sucker punch to South Alabama defensive back Jamarrien Burt’s head from behind. The unprovoked attack sparked a brawl, creating chaos on the field.

The confrontation escalated quickly, involving players from both teams in a free-for-all as smaller skirmishes erupted amid the post-game festivities. The melee forced officials to intervene, and it took several minutes to separate the two sides. Eventually, both teams were directed to their locker rooms.

Notably, Hernandez and Dillard, another player involved in the altercation, reportedly had a scuffle on the South Alabama sideline during the game’s second quarter. The tension simmered throughout the match, with extra shoving occurring after plays were supposed to be over.

Despite the brawl, South Alabama was later allowed to return to the field for the trophy ceremony. The Jaguars received their bowl trophy and celebrated the victory after the chaotic conclusion to the 68 Ventures Bowl.

EMU issues apology for the brawl

The 68 Ventures Bowl between Eastern Michigan and South Alabama continues to reverberate as Eastern Michigan’s athletic director, Scott Wetherbee, addressed the postgame brawl in a statement on Sunday, expressing strong condemnation for the actions of some student-athletes from the EMU football team.

In his statement, Wetherbee emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating he and his team were greatly “embarrassed” due to the unnecessary brawl.

“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. … What happened was completely unacceptable.”

Wetherbee went further, offering a sincere apology to the Eastern Michigan University community as well as to the South Alabama team and their fans, recalling the inexcusable nature of the events that unfolded.

“What happened was completely unacceptable. We apologize to the Eastern Michigan University community and the South Alabama team and their fans.”

Additionally, Wetherbee revealed that he had engaged in discussions with South Alabama’s athletic director, Joel Erdmann, to address the incident. Head coach Chris Creighton from Eastern Michigan also communicated with South Alabama head coach Kane Wommack, stressing the commitment to resolving the matter and fostering a sense of accountability.

South Alabama’s athletic director, Joel Erdmann, responded to the incident with his own statement, expressing disappointment in the postgame conflict. Nevertheless, Erdmann acknowledged Eastern Michigan’s proactive approach to taking ownership of the confrontation and extending an apology.

“While we are disappointed in the incident that occurred following our team’s victory, we are grateful to the leadership at Eastern Michigan University for taking ownership of the incident and reaching out to our leadership here at South Alabama to apologize and ensure us they will fully investigate the matter,” Erdmann stated.

What’s your take on the high-heated altercation ? Share with us in the comment box.

Shabiha Akter

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Shabiha, once a casual observer, has morphed into a die-hard NFL fan. She carefully dissects every play, trade, and strategy. Whether it's breaking down game highlights or predicting playoff outcomes, Shabiha is your go-to source for all things NFL.


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