Tigers to punish 12 players

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis will punish 12 Tigers players for their roles in a brawl after their victory over BYU in the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl following an internal review by the university.

Officials announced Tuesday that they had identified 12 players who took part in the brawl that followed Memphis' 55-48 double overtime win on Dec. 22.

BYU had no immediate comment on how many Cougars players might face punishment.

Emotions spilled over after DaShaughn Terry sealed Memphis' win by picking off BYU quarterback Christian Stewart in the second OT. Dozens of people from both sidelines spilled toward the middle of the field, many punching and grabbing. Cameras caught BYU defensive back Kai Nacua -- who had blood streaming from his face -- coming from behind to punch Memphis tight end Alan Cross in the head while Cross was being restrained by someone from the Tigers' staff.

Both Memphis and BYU reviewed the brawl with help from the American Athletic Conference.

"I want to thank BYU for working with us to achieve not only accountability from this unfortunate event, but also helping our teams continue to grow and develop as young men, consistent with the high expectations held by both our universities, along with the high standards of sportsmanship established by the NCAA and American Athletic Conference," Memphis president M. David Rudd said in a statement.

Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen said the actions of some players were "completely unacceptable," and they will hold their athletes accountable.

Punishment includes being suspended from practices and scrimmages and up to two games, though which players will be suspended from games will not be announced until the start of the 2015 season. Other penalties include mandatory anger-management counseling, community service and unspecified punishment from Memphis coach Justin Fuente.

BYU and Memphis players also will formally apologize in a conference call.

American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco said the league supports the punishment planned by Memphis and thinks this can be a learning experience for all the students involved.

"The American Athletic Conference and our member schools expect the highest standard of conduct from our student-athletes, and those who fail to meet these expectations will be held accountable," Aresco said.