Community service ordered for Miami players in brawl

CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The Miami football players who were suspended for their role in a sideline-clearing brawl will participate in several new community initiatives as part of their sanctioning.

University officials said the players were to begin the community service programs Thursday, visiting a homeless outreach facility in Miami.

The university and the Atlantic Coast Conference suspended 13 Miami players for their role in the Oct. 14 fight against Florida International, which marred the Hurricanes' 35-0 victory over the Golden Panthers. All but one of those players was given a one-game suspension, which was served against Duke last weekend, and those 12 are eligible to play Saturday when Miami visits Georgia Tech.

FIU suspended 16 players indefinitely for their role in the fight and kicked two others off the team. The Golden Panthers have not played since; they visit Alabama Saturday.

The community-service-type programs for the Miami players will include:

• The development of a sportsmanship program with the 30 high schools in the Greater Miami Athletic Conference.

• "Meaningful, ongoing" work with a charity of each player's choosing.

• After-school visits with South Florida youth to both tutor and discuss values such as sportsmanship and behavior.

• Added work with the Miami-Dade County police's "Join a Team, Not a Gang" program, including players visiting youngsters.

• Involvement in other outreach programs, including ones with the homeless.