Recasts at 4:47 p.m., adds content from MEAC Instagram post:
GREENSBORO — A&T football coach Sam Washington apologized to the university community today in his first comments since a scuffle broke out between the Aggies and Florida A&M at halftime of their football game Sunday.
"First of all, I just want to apologize to everyone," Washington said at the football team's weekly news conference. "And I promise you we will get this taken care of, and it will never happen again."
Several ejections due to this fight at halftime of N.C. A&T and FAMU. pic.twitter.com/oO3IcOHHDE— Lori Buhring (@loribuhring) October 20, 2019
A&T lost Mac McCain, Elijah Bell and Stephen Davis Jr. for the second half, and Florida A&M assistant coach Ralph Street, Tim Williams, Andrew Davis and Jalen Brayboy also were tossed.
A&T is awaiting word from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference regarding any further penalties or whether any of the three players would be required to miss playing time during the homecoming game against Howard on Saturday at BB&T Stadium.
MEAC commissioner Dennis Thomas attended the game and was on the field with both head coaches, Washington and Florida A&M's Willie Simmons, before the game. An Instagram post from the league office this morning after suggested a different tone than either program appeared to feel after the game or today, with a caption that read:
"It's all LOVE!!! Commissioner Dennis Thomas shares some words of wisdom with FAMU Head Coach Willie Simmons @famuathletics & NCAT Head Coach Sam Washington @ncatathletics at yesterday’s match up!! #RESPECTtheMEAC #iBackTheMEAC."
The teams were involved in an altercation as they went to their locker rooms at halftime of the Rattlers' 34-31 overtime victory in Tallahassee, Fla. Every player on both teams received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and players who had received such penalties in the first half were ejected from the game.
"I was in the process of doing an interview," Simmons said after the game, according to reporter Rory Sharrock of the Tallahassee Democrat. "We tried to hold our team. Of course with the configuration of the locker room and sideline, we wanted to make sure A&T crossed and got in before we sent our guys."
"You hate to see that kind of stuff. That's not what this game is about. To have players get ejected and a coach in the second half. If there was a damper on this game, it was that.
"We have to be more disciplined than that. That's not the brand we represent. I'm pretty sure Sam Washington would say the same thing about his team."