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Miami Issues Apology for Taunting Incident

October 16, 2002|From Staff and Wire Reports

Miami Athletic Director Paul Dee apologized to Florida State kicker Xavier Beitia on Tuesday for taunting he received after missing a possible game-winning field goal on Saturday.

After Beitia's 43-yard attempt, which sailed wide left and allowed the top-ranked Hurricanes to escape with a 28-27 victory, a man in Miami apparel ran onto the field from the sideline and was photographed taunting the distraught kicker.

"The person in the picture is a former student volunteer with the athletic program," Dee said in a statement. "The actions captured in the picture are unacceptable and show a complete lack of discretion."

The man in the photo was not identified by the school.

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Nebraska quarterback Jammal Lord will start Saturday at Oklahoma State despite being charged with disturbing the peace. Coach Frank Solich said that Lord would be disciplined but that the misdemeanor ticket did not warrant a suspension.

Nebraska volleyball and basketball player Greichaly Cepero, the 2000 American Volleyball Coaches Assn. Division I player of the year who was at Lord's apartment when police were called to it around 3 a.m. Sunday, was cited with disturbing the peace and failure to obey a police order.

Unlike Solich, volleyball coach John Cook announced his disciplinary decision, saying that Cepero would not play tonight against Oklahoma.

"Right now we are learning lessons that have nothing to do with winning and losing," Cook said. "This is about being responsible and upholding the values of Nebraska volleyball."

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Officials plan to replace the natural turf at Michigan Stadium with an artificial surface before the 2003 season.

Natural turf has been in place since 1991, but problems maintaining it have increased in recent years. After Saturday's game against Penn State, the field was pockmarked with divots.

Officials said the root system has deteriorated from six inches to three-quarters-of-an-inch in the past 10 weeks after a hot, dry summer.

Michigan Stadium had an artificial surface from 1969-90.

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Florida quarterback Rex Grossman has a sprained right knee but should be available for Saturday's game against Auburn.... Mississippi State quarterback Kevin Fant, who sprained his ankle last week, is expected to play against Memphis.... Brigham Young Coach Gary Crowton has benched quarterback Bret Engemann and named redshirt freshman Matt Berry as starter against Nevada Las Vegas.... Air Force halfback Anthony Butler, who has an injured left ankle, is questionable for Saturday's game against Notre Dame.

Musa Smith, Georgia's leading rusher, has a neck injury, the seriousness of which has yet to be determined. Smith left last Saturday's game against Tennessee with brief numbness in his arms and has been examined by a neurosurgeon and orthopedic surgeon. His status for Saturday's game against Vanderbilt is questionable. .... Northwestern quarterback Brett Basanez is likely out until Oct. 26 after breaking his fibula last Thursday at Minnesota. Tony Stauss is expected to start against No. 20 Penn State.... Southern Mississippi offensive tackle Jeremy Bridges was suspended for Saturday's game against Cincinnati for an undisclosed violation of team rules, Golden Eagle Coach Jeff Bower said.

Backup linebacker Fred Pagac Jr. has been suspended for Ohio State's game against Wisconsin. The junior was arrested and charged with persistent disorderly conduct when police said they found him trying to fight outside a bar near campus early Sunday morning.... New Mexico quarterback Kole McKamey was sentenced to 90 days' probation after being ticketed for underage drinking.

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