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October 16, 2006

To the University Community:

Saturday's on-field melee has no place at the University of Miami.

What happened Saturday night at the Orange Bowl was outrageous. Regardless of who started it, this was an embarrassing display of unsportsmanlike behavior. Fortunately there were no injuries. 

FIU President Mitch Maidique and I talked by phone shortly after the incident on Saturday night. We both expressed deep disappointment and apologized to each other on behalf of our institutions.

What was envisioned as an opportunity for two hometown teams to provide an evening of athletic competition resulted in a brawl that brought embarrassment to the teams, our universities, and our community.

The University of Miami simply will not tolerate or condone this type of behavior. Period. We expect the best from our students. Indeed we hold all of them to a high standard of personal conduct.

The one bright light is that the thousands of students from both institutions who attended the game behaved in exemplary fashion and kept their seats and their heads.

On Sunday the Atlantic Coast Conference conducted an independent review of the incident. As a result of that review, last night the ACC and the University of Miami announced that 13 student-athletes have been suspended for the game this coming weekend.

The ACC maintains rigorous behavioral and academic standards for student-athletes. We are satisfied with their decision.


Donna E. Shalala

Office of the President
P.O. Box 248006 Coral Gables, Florida 33124-4600
305-284-5155 Fax 305-284-3768