Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Western Kentucky dismisses player after playoff brawl

The Associated Press

MACOMB, Ill. - Western Kentucky University has dismissed a player from its football team after a brawl here that followed the Hilltoppers' 31-28 playoff win over Western Illinois University on Saturday.

Cris Riviere, a junior from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was dropped for his role in the postgame fracas, according to a statement released by the university.

Western Illinois is reviewing the incident and is expected to decide this week whether any players will be disciplined, said Jason Kaufman, director of athletics media services.

At least two players suffered minor injuries in a brief fight that erupted after the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I-AA tournament.

Helmets and fists were thrown in the brawl, which broke out at midfield after Western Illinois missed a 61-yard field goal with no time on the clock that would have tied the game.

The two schools tied for the Gateway Conference regular-season title and were vying to advance to the semifinals of the Division I-AA tournament. Western Kentucky plays at Georgia Southern Saturday.

Riviere, a 6-foot, 200-pound defensive back, had four tackles in eight games for the Hilltoppers this year.

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