Appalachian State has temporarily suspended members of its football team while the athletics department investigates a weekend fight.
The school announced the decision Wednesday, a day after a 2-minute video appeared on Reddit that shows an altercation at what appears to be a house party. The video is titled “St. Patrick’s day football team scuffle,” and appeared on the App State subreddit for the site.
App State athletics issued a statement to the Journal, indicating that football players were involved in the fight.
“We are aware of an incident involving our student-athletes,” the statement said.
“We are proactively handling matters, with some student-athletes being suspended from team activities pending further investigation of facts and details.”
Joey Jones, App State’s associate athletics director for strategic communications, said the players could not be named at this time as part of the school’s fact-finding process. Jones did not indicate the specific number of players who had been suspended, but he did confirm that it was fewer than five players.
Those players will not take part in team activities until the department finishes its investigation.
According to Geoff Hayes, public information officer for the Boone Police Department, no incident report regarding a house party during the weekend had been filed as of Wednesday afternoon.
The video of the fight appears to be shot from the second story of a cabin, looking down on a crowded first floor. The fight starts in the far corner of the room and ripples through the swath of partygoers.
It is not clear which day the fight happened. St. Patrick’s Day was Sunday, but the town of Boone held a St. Patrick’s Day parade Saturday. After a Saturday morning scrimmage, the football team participated in the parade.
According to the Appalachian State student-athlete handbook, players can be sanctioned by the athletics department for fighting and for exhibiting conduct that’s unfavorable to App State, among other reasons.
“Sanctions imposed by the Department of Athletics may include suspension or removal from team participation and loss of athletic grant-in-aid,” part of the student-athlete discipline policy reads. “A student-athlete charged with underage alcohol possession or consumption will be required to complete a substance abuse evaluation assessment, performed by the University Counseling Center, at the student-athlete’s own expense.”
This is the first disciplinary situation for Eli Drinkwitz, App State’s first-year head coach. Drinkwitz was hired in December, replacing Scott Satterfield after six seasons. App State went 11-2 last season and is the reigning champion of the Sun belt Conference.