MSU AD John Cohen issues statement on bowl game fight

The Bulldogs and Tulsa had an altercation following Thursday's Armed Forces Bowl
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Mississippi State director of athletics John Cohen has chimed in following the ugly scene that concluded Thursday's Armed Forces Bowl.

One day after the MSU and Tulsa teams brawled on the field following State's 28-26 win over the Golden Hurricane, Cohen issued this statement on Friday:

"While I'm proud of the representation of our football student-athletes in our previous 10 SEC games and applaud the effort of our team during the Armed Forces Bowl, I'm deeply concerned about the actions of some student-athletes. No matter what led to the situation, fighting is inexcusable and does not represent Mississippi State University's core values. Our administration and (head coach Mike) Leach are working diligently with the SEC office to review yesterday's events and will address the situation in an appropriate manner."

In the immediate aftermath of Thursday's events, Leach was unsure of what, if any, discipline might be handed down to members of his team as a result of the altercation. However Cohen's words seem to indicate punishment of some kind could be on the table pending a review of the situation.

"I have no idea," Leach said on Thursday regarding possible discipline. "I don't know what happened exactly. There was a mosh pit and there was jawing back and forth. I haven't seen it. You all probably saw it better than I did."

As for the root cause of it all, Leach had this to say:

"The root of it is dumb no matter what the root of it was," Leach said. "The continuation of it was dumb. I would have it solidly in the category of dumb. Where the dumb started I am not entirely sure."

Whatever the source of the fight, it appears there could well be lingering consequences for at least some of the players involved. That includes those on the Tulsa side.

Per ESPN, both Tulsa and the American Athletic Conference are having reviews of their own.

"We will work with the University of Tulsa to conduct a thorough review of the altercation pursuant to our Conference Code of Sportsmanship process and expect that the university will respond accordingly," AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said.

Tulsa issued this statement:

"We take this incident very seriously and will respond appropriately after the review is complete."

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