“There is no place in college football for the kind of incident that took place at halftime of the Missouri at Florida game Saturday night,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said Monday in a prepared statement. “Everyone involved is responsible for meeting sportsmanship standards throughout each game. Running on the field to confront a game official, the gathering of teams in an on-field confrontation and student-athletes throwing punches are all disappointing at any time, but even more so as we work to support healthy competition during a pandemic.”
Following the altercation, Florida defensive lineman Zachary Carter and linebacker Antwuan Powell were ejected for the remainder of the game for fighting, and Missouri outside linebacker Tre Williams was ejected for a flagrant unsportsmanlike conduct foul.
According to NCAA Football Playing Rule 9.5.1.b., ejections for fighting carry an automatic half-game suspension for the following game, which will result in Carter and Powell serving suspensions for the first half of Florida’s game against Georgia in Jacksonville on Saturday.
In addition, following video review of the incident, the SEC Office has issued a half-game suspension for Missouri linebacker Chad Bailey, offensive lineman Dylan Spencer and defensive lineman Markell Utsey for fighting action during the altercation. Each will miss the first half of Missouri’s game vs. Georgia on Nov. 14, which follows a Missouri open date on Nov. 7.
Fines levied against schools and individuals in the SEC go into a fund supporting the SEC’s postgraduate scholarship program.
Mullen had to be held back by staff at one point during the scuffle and chaos of both teams trying to leave the field. He later said he was trying to get his players off the field. Mullen waved his arms toward the crowd as he headed toward the locker room in Gainesville, and then he turned around and returned to the field to further incite the fans.
Mullen said his players believed they were acting in defense of quarterback Kyle Trask, thinking the hit he suffered on the final play of the first half was unfair.
“They’re going to protect him,” Mullen said. “That’s their guy.”
He added: “Everybody was a little edgy and probably went a little too far with it.”
On Saturday, the schools issued a joint statement, saying the incident does not reflect the values of either university.
“We are committed to healthy competition and good sportsmanship,” the joint statement said. “The clean play without incident in the second half is how we expect to represent both institutions and the SEC. We believe both programs will use this moment to learn from so that future incidents like this do not happen.”
Mullen, who said he did not condone the violence, credited Missouri’s coaching staff, as well as his own, for calming players down at halftime and preventing any further altercations.
Florida went on to beat Missouri 41-17.
ESPN’s Alex Scarborough contributed to this report.