WAC suspends two NMSU players in wake of on-court postgame fight
There will likely be more fallout from the ugly incident Thursday night between New Mexico State and Utah Valley, but for now, we know at least one player will miss some time.
The WAC announced Friday night that New Mexico State players K.C. Ross-Miller and Renaldo Dixon will be suspended. Ross-Miller will sit for two games, Dixon one, after both were involved in altercations in Thurday night's on-court skirmish that involved fans of Utah Valley.
Ross-Miller, whose to-be-determined suspension was announced earlier on Friday, threw a ball at Utah Valley guard Holton Hunsaker at the conclusion of UVU's 66-61 home overtime WAC win against the Aggies Thursday night.
That action then combusted with a court storm by UVU fans, and from there New Mexico State players and Utah Valley students/fans were involved in brief but physical confrontations on the court that included punches thrown, most notably by Dixon.
"No matter what provoked K.C., what he did was inexcusable and hence the suspension," NMSU coach Marvin Menzies said in a statement. "It is an honor and a privilege to wear an Aggie uniform and a responsibility comes with that privilege."
Western Athletic Conference commissioner Jeff Hurd cited a violation of the league's sportsmanship policy when doling out the suspensions.
“There obviously is no place in the Western Athletic Conference or intercollegiate athletics as a whole for the unfortunate events that took place at the conclusion of Thursday night’s game,” Hurd said. “And I appreciate the excellent cooperation that I have received from both institutions in my review of what occurred.”
Hurd said the league will also continue to review the situation and the video to determine safety and security issues going forward.
Ross-Miller and Dixon will miss Saturday's game at Bakersfield; Ross-Miller will also sit out next Thursday's tip vs. Grand Canyon.
“I just want to apologize for my actions and for embarrassing New Mexico State University," Ross-Miller said in a statement. "I have way more respect for the university, my teammates and coaches to retaliate in such a terrible way. ... I will learn from this and not make the same mistake twice. I know saying sorry doesn't fix the embarrassment that I've initiated, but I ask as humbly as I know that you accept my apology.”
The tape also shows Aggie Daniel Mullings, who was not reprimanded, involved in a physical clash with fans. Mullings had to be forcefully restrained and removed from the court by two older men. Utah Valley fans can also be seen instigating confrontations in the video.
“We talk to student-athletes on a regular basis regarding representing the brand of New Mexico State and our Athletics Department and other athletes,” NMSU athletic director McKinley Boston said. “I’m so disappointed in K.C.’s actions and the embarrassment he caused his team and university.”
New Mexico State has represented the WAC in three of the past four NCAA tournaments. Ross-Miller is sixth in team minutes per game, averaging 8.3 point and a team-best 3.5 assists. Mullings is the team's leading scorer (17.0 PPG). Dixon averages 8.8 points and 5.6 rebounds.
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