12 August 2008
Offensive linemen Ryan Pugh and Lee Ziemba and defensive end Antonio Coleman were at the center of a wild brawl during Tuesday's practice. This one went beyond the typical practice scrap and caused head coach Tommy Tuberville to come over and yell at participants. The scrum started during one-on-one blocking drills. Pugh was matched up against Coleman. At the end of the drill, Pugh and Coleman got in each other's face and exchanged words. I'm not sure who fired the first punch, but there were plenty of punches thrown, right in the face. The fight spilled over into the area where the offensive line was gathered. Then the scrum was really going. An ice and water cooler was overturned and Coleman and Pugh tumbled to the ground. With coaches yelling to break it up, a helmet-less Ziemba dashed in to join the fray. He was eventually pushed back by an angry manager. Defensive ends coach Terry Price was livid. Tuberville had arrived by this time, and he yelled at both sides to quit beating up on teammates. Meanwhile, Coleman lay on the ground for an extra minute, with athletic trainers paying particular attention to his neck as a precaution. In the last several days, Ziemba has been involved in mini-fights with Coleman and Antoine Carter. The end of the Carter fight was punctuated by Ziemba hurling Carter's helmet to the ground. The history with Coleman goes back further. Ziemba was involved in an after-the-whistle incident with Coleman during a spring scrimmage that left the defensive player with a cervical sprain. Coleman missed the rest of spring practice, and has missed some time in August with an unrelated hamstring pull. We've been told that Ziemba, Coleman and Pugh won't be available for interviews today. After practice, Tuberville downplayed the incident and said fights were a reality of August. "I hope they're foul everyday," he said. "I hope they're in a foul mood. That's what football's about. They're not going to hurt anybody."Note that Tubberville says "They're not going to hurt anybody." Really coach? What about Coleman's cervical sprain? What about the trainers paying extra attention to Coleman's neck for the 2nd time in 6 months? They're not hurting anybody? I bet Coleman feels wonderful knowing that he counts as a nobody. What about Friday's incident, Coach? From the Huntsville Times:
Tuberville confirmed that freshman defensive back Marcus Jemison broke his leg Friday after a scuffle with fullback John Douglas in practice. Jemison will take a redshirt this season.So was Jemison a nobody? Or does a broken leg not count as getting hurt? Fights are going to happen on a football team. It's simply a part of the nature of the sport. But this is getting ridiculous, totally and completely out of hand. And for the head coach to blatantly lie about the incidents just makes matters worse. At least this time the coaching staff appears to have made certain that it was just a one on one fight instead of allowing several upperclassmen to beat on one freshman.
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