COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Clemson and South Carolina will not accept
bowl bids, punishment for players who brawled toward the end of
South Carolina athletic director Mike McGee said Monday that the
Gamecocks' actions on the field were not consistent with the values
and ethics of the school.
"This decision will have a significant financial impact on USC
athletics. We will also lose a month of prebowl practice," McGee
said. "It was a decision that had to be made."
Clemson athletics director Terry Don Phillips said in a
statement the decision isn't fair to the majority of the players.
"But given the circumstances, I believe strongly that it is the
right decision so that our university, our student-athletes,
supporters and all people that love Clemson know without question
what our values are," he said.
Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive and Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John D. Swofford both said that their respective conferences support the decision by the universities.
"The decision by the University of South Carolina not go to a bowl game sends the important message to student-athletes, not only at South Carolina and in the Southeastern Conference, but thoughout the nation that intercollegiate ahtletics will not tolerate the kind of behavior we saw in the South Carolina-Clemson game last Saturday," Slive said.
The commissioners also added that their conferences continues to review game films to determine if additional penalties are merited.
The brawl, which broke out with about six minutes left in the
game, started when Tigers defensive lineman Bobby Williamson took
down South Carolina quarterback Syvelle Newton and appeared to
linger too long on top of him.
South Carolina coach Lou Holtz, in his last game after a 33-year
career, and Clemson coach Tommy Bowden tried to break up the brawl.
Eventually, security and police officers were needed to restore
order. Clemson won 29-7.