March 29, 2012

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Maryland's Cooper, UNC's McBride Suspended One Game For Fight

ACC reviewed tape; no additional discipline levied

by Corey McLaughlin | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Maryland junior midfielder Kevin Cooper and North Carolina redshirt sophomore Greg McBride will serve NCAA-mandated one-game suspensions this weekend, but no other discipline has been levied on either player or team after the Atlantic Coast Conference reviewed all available video footage of the on-field fight from last Saturday's Terps-Tar Heels game.

NCAA rules state that a player ejected from a game is suspended for the next game. Maryland coach John Tillman had said Cooper wouldn't play anyway Saturday, when No. 9 Maryland plays third-ranked Virginia at Byrd Stadium. The Tar Heels play top-ranked Johns Hopkins on Sunday night at the Big City Classic at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

McBride won't make the trip with the team, a North Carolina team spokesman confirmed to LaxMagazine.com on Thursday. Maryland released a statement on the matter Wednesday night.

The ACC released a statement Thursday afternoon: "After a thorough review of the game film, we support the officials' decision to eject the two players for fighting. Per NCAA rules, these two individuals will serve a one game suspension."

With 40 seconds left in Saturday's game, after a Maryland ride on McBride, he passed the ball away near midfield and was checked high to the head by Cooper. McBride lost his stick and, as he rose from the turf, attempted to tackle Cooper in retaliation. Cooper in turn took McBride to the ground and punched him in the helmet several times before a group of North Carolina players separated the pair.

Players spilled onto the field and had to be stopped by officials, coaches and team personnel from both sides.

Walking off the field, McBride bled from around his left eye. Both he and Cooper were ejected and Cooper was called for a three-minute unreleasable illegal body check penalty for the initial hit that sparked the incident.

After five total penalties were issued among both teams, including bench conducts, Maryland freshman longpole Goran Murray scored a man-up goal with 20 seconds left and UNC's Steven Rastivo had to make a save in the final seconds to prevent overtime and seal an 11-10 win for the Tar Heels.


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