The Southwestern Athletic Conference suspended 15 players for their involvement in a benches-clearing brawl between Southern University and Texas Southern last Saturday, the conference announced.
According to a report in the Advocate, the altercation took place after Texas Southern forward Miracle Davis took a charge with 12:36 left in the second half. The melee involved players from both sides, fans and even cheerleaders. Southern was leading 51-49 and the game at the time was declared a double forfeit.
Texas Southern’s Alexus Johnson, who was named All-SWAC first-team this week, and Diamonisha Sophus were seen throwing punches, and security had to hold Johnson back minutes later from going into Southern's locker room.
Texas Southern players Toni Cheadle, Dana Jones, Davis, Sophus, Morgan Simmons, Ashley Ferguson and Johnson were each suspended for one game, while Kiana Vines received a two-game ban.
Southern's Shaquandria Litmon, Jadea Brundidge, Jasmine Jefferson, All-SWAC first-team guard Kendra Coleman, Corteni Purnell and Yasmine Nelson were all given a one-game penalty. Keonia Parrish was given a two game suspension and dismissed from the team.
The conference gave each team a loss and Texas Southern won the regular season title with a 16-2 league record, while Southern finished with a 15-3 conference mark. Since the game lasted less than 30 minutes on the clock, NCAA rules don't count the stats from the game.
Texas Southern withdrew from the Southwestern Athletic Conference tournament that begins Wednesday at the Toyota Center in Houston. Southern will face No. 7 seed Grambling at noon on Wednesday.
Texas Southern athletic director Dr. Charles McClelland said the team is withdrawing from the tournament because they feel they can’t “field a competitive team due to the number of suspensions.”
“In addition to the multi-game suspensions handed down from our league office, we will also be imposing some additional measures to ensure that our student-athletes fully understand the severity of what took place on Saturday,” McClelland said. “With that being said, we're not going to throw in the towel or give up on these young ladies.”
- Scooby Axson