PORTLAND, Ore. (CBS Seattle/AP) — Oregon tight end Pharaoh Brown has been suspended for the Ducks’ upcoming bowl game because of his role in an on-campus snowball fight that got out of hand.
A YouTube video of Friday’s fight shows players and other students pelting a car with dozens of snowballs in front of the Erb Memorial Union in Eugene. At one point, the overmatched driver opens his car door and is hit with a bucket of snow. The video had attracted more than 3.3 million views as of Tuesday morning.
“I was one of the many UO students involved in the snowball fight on Friday, and my actions escalated to an inappropriate level and, for that, I sincerely apologize,” Brown said in a statement released by the university. “We never should have engaged innocent people, and I deeply regret my actions and will accept the consequences.”
The suspension was announced Monday by Head Coach Mark Helfrich, who has apologized to the targeted drivers. Helfrich had promised discipline during the weekend, saying the behavior shown in the video was “completely unacceptable and dangerous.”
Other players involved in the fight received unspecified punishments but will be allowed to play in the bowl game. All students involved in the fight, including non-players, are subject to further discipline from the dean of students, the university said.
“Consequences are clear for those whose actions reflect poorly upon the university or violate its standards for student behavior,” Paul Shang, the university’s dean of students, said in a statement. “However, until the facts of the snowball-throwing incident are sorted out, it would be premature to speculate about any potential outcomes in the case.”
University police are determining if any criminal charges will be pursued against those who participated in the snowball fight.
Student Liana Lis said the snowball fight deteriorated after people began throwing at cars.
“At the time I had been in the snowball fight it was totally fun and it was cool because the people were there who wanted to participate,” Lis told the Daily Emerald. “But then they started throwing it at cars and I had the gut instinct that it was just wrong and it got uncomfortable.”
Brown, a 6-foot-6, 241-pound sophomore, caught 10 passes during the regular season and scored two touchdowns. He started five of the nine games in which he appeared, getting more playing time after starting tight end Colt Lyerla left the team in October to prepare for an NFL career following a one-game suspension for violating team rules. He was later arrested for cocaine possession and is awaiting trial after pleading not guilty.
The Ducks (10-2) play Texas (8-4) in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30 in San Antonio.
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