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15 players suspended for a 'basketbrawl'

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Basketball players are benched for fighting during a game. (KTRK)

Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference suspended 15 players from area college men's basketball teams following a brawl during their matchup.

The LeMoyne-Owen College and Lane College athletes became more aggressive when a fight broke out during the first quarter.

According to SIAC, each player will serve a suspension ranging from two to five games.

Each institution will be able to stagger the suspensions through the remainder of the season.

Some students don't think the suspensions are fair.

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"It all depends on who started it," said student Charra Green.

The suspensions include players who left the bench and joined the fight, players who were involved in the fight, as well as players who merely left the bench but were not involved.

Sterling Wooten, a red shirt freshman basketball player, said he doesn't think the suspensions are fair.

"See yourself in their shoes. You're watching your teammate get hit, it's hard to do. Who can really do that. I don't think anybody can do that," said Wooten.

The fan who picked up a chair and hit a Lane player is being investigated by the Memphis Police Department.

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The fans involved in the brawl are banned for life from SIAC games, the two schools and coaches will also be fined.

MPD identified several spectators who participated in the fight.

Those people will be banned from any SIAC events.

The SIAC Commissioner released a statement:
The interests of student-athlete and spectator safety and good sportsmanship during intercollegiate athletic events are sacrosanct and represent a core article of faith for our league. The incident which unfolded Saturday evening not only was in direct contravention of these critically important interests, but in a larger and very real sense, these isolated incidents scar and victimize league stakeholders throughout the SIAC who work extremely hard to ensure that athletic events across all of our campuses remain safe places and spaces for all of our student-athletes and loyal fans. As a conference, we will continue to fiercely protect and advance these interests and maintain a zero tolerance policy for any conduct which falls short of the SIAC expectations regarding safety and good sportsmanship. We appreciate the assistance and full cooperation which both institutions accorded to conference office during this investigation.

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