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Two Miami of Ohio Coaches Suspended

November 14, 2002|From Associated Press

Two Miami of Ohio assistants were suspended Wednesday after one was charged with assaulting a fan after Tuesday's 36-34 loss at Marshall and another acknowledged damaging a coaches' box.

Defensive coordinator Jon Wauford and linebackers coach Taver Johnson were suspended with pay while Miami officials investigate.

Wauford was led off the field in handcuffs and charged with battery -- a misdemeanor -- for allegedly shoving a fan who ran on the field after the game. Wauford was released on $5,000 bond Wednesday and has a court hearing Dec. 13. The fan, Robert Flaugher, 36, was treated at a hospital and released.

Johnson acknowledged damaging the visiting coaches' box, Miami Coach Terry Hoeppner said.

Hoeppner said things got out of control when fans rushed the field following Marshall's last-second victory. Hoeppner said he had taken two university police officers with him for extra protection on the field, anticipating a volatile situation.

"It's scary," said Hoeppner. "I had more police protection around me last night, and that shouldn't be necessary. We've lost a little bit of our perspective."

The postgame problems were uncharacteristic for a school that prides itself as the "Cradle of Coaches."

"We justify our support of athletics because of the message that it sends about character," school President James Garland said. "These events of yesterday suggest that we've fallen short of our goal."

Interim Athletic Director Steve Snyder said Miami will pay to repair the coaches' box. The damage included holes in the wall, Snyder said.


Although Tennessee quarterback Casey Clausen didn't participate in a third consecutive practice because of foot and ankle injuries, Coach Phillip Fulmer is hoping Clausen will be able to play at Mississippi State on Saturday.

Clausen, a three-year starter, suffered the injuries Nov. 2 at South Carolina. He has completed just under 65% of his passes for 1,760 yards and has nine touchdowns.

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