Four Kent State players, including starting guard Malique Jacobs, have been disciplined by the Mid-American Conference for a social media post in advance of Saturday's championship game against rival Akron.
The league said forward DJ Johnson has been suspended indefinitely, while Jacobs and reserves Cli'Ron Hornbeak and Julius Rollins will have to sit out the first half of the title game for the Golden Flashes.
Jacobs scored a team-high 19 points and had 10 rebounds in Kent State's win over Ohio in the semifinals Friday night. After the game, the four players filmed a video in their locker room and posted it on Snapchat. In the clip, which was also shared on Twitter, one of the players is using profane language directed at Akron.
"I'm disappointed this occurred," MAC commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher said in a statement. "This does not represent the values of Kent State or the Mid-American Conference. However, I commend the leadership of Kent State for being proactive in addressing this matter and collaborating with my office to bring this situation to resolution."
Kent State and Akron, whose campuses are separated by 10 miles, have one of the nation's most bitter rivalries. The Golden Flashes won both games during the regular season and are seeking their first NCAA bid since 2017.
"The behavior in the video does not reflect the core values of Kent State, nor does it live up to the standards we expect of our student-athletes," the school said in a statement Friday night.
The Zips, who upset top-seeded Toledo in the semifinals, haven't been in the NCAA field since 2013.