Eastern Michigan’s Korey Hernandez sucker-punches South Alabama player to spark bowl brawl
Eastern Michigan showed much more fight after their blowout loss to South Alabama than they did during Saturday’s game.
As South Alabama’s band began playing on the field following the team’s 59-10 shellacking over Eastern Michigan in the 68 Ventures Bowl at Hancock Stadium in Mobile, Ala., Eastern Michigan defensive back Korey Hernandez came out swinging.
He sprinted across the end zone and beelined for South Alabama defensive back Jamarrien Burt, who, with his teammates, was among the band as it was performing.
best angle ive seen yet, credit to south_alabamian on tik tok pic.twitter.com/2i6MbOYIeu
— sean (@jagsfbguy) December 24, 2023Hernandez slugged Burt, who didn’t see him coming, in the head from behind before multiple South Alabama teammates corralled him and a scuffle broke out.
The melee did not last long, however, as the two teams were quickly separated.
“I didnt see things when they happened,” Eastern Michigan head coach Chris Creighton said after the game via AL.com. “But I definitely saw the intensity of what had just happened. We had a really good, long talk in the locker room afterwards.
Korey Hernandez punches Jamarrien Burt after the 68 Ventures Bowl on Dec. 24, 2023. Screengrab“We want to be first-class all the time, no matter the circumstances, no matter what the scoreboard is, no matter what other factors, people, whatever are involved. And anything short of being first-class is not living up to the standard that we have in Eastern Michigan football.
I think that our guys care a lot about performing well. Im sure we were embarrassed by how we played and it probably didnt take too much to get our guys into a place that we hope that they never get.
Eastern Michigan later apologized for the incident.
Another look at Korey Hernandez’s punch. Screengrab“We strongly condemn the actions of some of the student-athletes on the EMU football team in the ugly incident that took place following last night’s 68 Ventures Bowl. We are deeply upset and embarrassed by what happened,” EMU athletic director Scott Wetherbee said in a statement. “Their conduct does not reflect the great pride and high standards we place on the game and our program, and the expectations for good sportsmanship and exemplary conduct of student-athletes on and off the field.
“What happened was completely unacceptable. We apologize to the Eastern Michigan University community and to the South Alabama team and their fans.”
South Alabama coach Kane Wommack, whose Jaguars secured the program’s first-ever bowl win, called for an investigation into the incident.
“This is a very special game, its a hard game,” Wommack said. “Its a team game and you do everything you can on a football field to be the best for your teammates. And at times, things get emotional and they get passionate and we ask these guys to play on the line of that emotion and passion in every single way.
“Those are never things that you want to end a game with.”
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