University of Miami

UM says football players didn’t push and curse other team’s band

A review by UM Athletics Director Blake James found no evidence of misconduct by football players as they ran onto Appalachian State’s field.
A review by UM Athletics Director Blake James found no evidence of misconduct by football players as they ran onto Appalachian State’s field. AP

The University of Miami reviewed complaints that football players acted rudely and aggressively toward Appalachian State color guard and band members but found no evidence of misconduct.

UM Athletics Director Blake James said videos and interviews did not turn up any confirmation that players pushed or cursed at color guard and band members when they ran onto the field for the start of Saturday’s game in Boone, N.C., which UM won, 45-10.

ASU student Sophie Randleman posted on Facebook that some of her fellow color guard members were mistreated by UM players as they stood in formation along the UM sideline.

“Today, Miami’s football team decided to blind side one of our members on the corner of the field,” Randleman wrote. “She was shoved by several very large, intentionally aggressive football players. No apologies were made regarding this incident, and the member who was hit had severe pain and had to sit for most of the game. I turned around just as this was happening and was immediately furious and upset. Leaving the field I thought that this was the only incident that occurred. It turns out that several other members were groped, sworn at, taunted and touched in ways that were definitely not asked for.”

Student Mariah Martin told WSOC-TV of Charlotte that she was shoved to the ground by a UM player, others surrounded her and she had to sit out the game. She said they received “a written apology” from James and, “I think that’s all we really needed.”

James did not characterize his letter as an apology.

Appalachian State also investigated the matter and was preparing a statement for release Wednesday night or Thursday. Associate Athletics Director Zeke Beam said he didn’t know the result of the investigation but that “the University of Miami went above and beyond to review the incident.”

Saturday’s game was called the biggest sporting event in the history of Boone, North Carolina. The Hurricanes were not only the first ranked football team to visit the Mountaineers, but the first Power 5 program to do so as well.

Miami (3-0) ran out to a 24-3 lead and won its third straight game in dominant fashion, then jumped 10 spots in the AP Poll to No. 15, its highest ranking since November, 2013.

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