The next time Southern and Prairie View take the field, they will be missing a combined 21 players for one game after the SWAC issued suspensions and hefty fines stemming from a pregame brawl involving the teams prior to their most recent meeting at Panther Stadium two Saturdays ago.
The announcement of the penalties on Monday seemingly couldn’t have worked out better for both schools, especially SWAC West leader Southern, which hosts 0-6 Virginia University of Lynchburg for homecoming on Saturday.
Prairie View, 3-3- overall and 3-1 in the SWAC West, is at Lamar. These games have no bearing on the division standings, which prompted some to suggest the conference conveniently made its ruling when neither program would be affected by the outcome.
HBCU Sports contacted the SWAC to ask whether timing of the suspensions was influenced by conference interests.
Did the SWAC want Alcorn and Southern both at full strength for its highly anticipated matchup in Baton Rouge with first place on the line?
Here is the explanation from the conference office:
“Due to the lack of ability to identify all participants by using uniform jersey numbers, along with the limited number of high-quality camera angles available for review, the investigation took additional time in order to ensure thoroughness in regard to accurately determining all individuals that were active participants.”
In other words, since the brawl took place during a time in which the players involved were in warmups and not easily identifiable, it took longer than usual for the conference to figure out everyone who participated in the scuffle before rendering a decision.
It seems if these challenges didn’t interfere with the league investigation, reprimands would have been issued sooner.
If figures that the 11 Southern players and the 10 on Prairie View’s side will not miss the all-important conference games since the league didn’t specify all that they would serve bans for more meaningful SWAC contests.
The only thing the SWAC office needed to due was have each school self certify all players involved in this brawl prior to next contest. And If any player who involved was not suspended by school played, then next contest should be forfeited.
How did it not favor Southern since their next game was against Alcorn and PV’s next game was still Lamar a FCS school and not VUL that Southern gets to not play their players.
I agree with Vernon, I call BS.