Oregon suspends Pharaoh Brown for the Alamo Bowl due to role in Friday’s snowball fight

Oregon sophomore tight end Pharaoh Brown (85) spent his afternoon with fellow Oregon athletes and UO students at the Collier House snowball fight. Several inches of snow fell overnight in Eugene, Ore. on Dec. 6. (Andrew Seng/Emerald)

Oregon sophomore tight end Pharaoh Brown (85) spent his afternoon with fellow Oregon athletes and UO students at the Collier House snowball fight. Several inches of snow fell overnight in Eugene, Ore. on Dec. 6. (Andrew Seng/Emerald)

Posted by Victor Flores on Monday, Dec. 9 at 11:23 am.

Oregon tight end Pharaoh Brown has been suspended for the Alamo Bowl, two university sources told the Oregonian, due to the role he played in Friday’s snowball fight where multiple students were seen on video pelting cars with snowballs and pouring snow on the windshields.

Head coach Mark Helfrich handed out the suspension on Sunday after he spoke with players involved in the incident. One of the sources said the other players in the video have been punished internally and have not been suspended for the bowl game. However, the source left open the possibility that others could be punished.

Brown appeared to be the one pouring snow on the windshield of the first car in the video and on retired Oregon professor, Sherwin Simmons, in the second car after Simmons opened his car door.

Helfrich spoke with Simmons on Sunday, according to one of the sources, and set up a meeting with Simmons and the players involved.

On Sunday night, Helfrich released a statement saying the behavior in the video was “completely unacceptable and dangerous” and that “disciplinary actions have begun.”

Brown is a 6-foot-6, 241-pound sophomore from Brush High School in Lyndhurst, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. Brush’s current varsity coach, Josh Wells, worked with the defensive backs and wide receivers when Brown played there but said he knew Brown well (Wells helped coordinate the defense when Brown, a defensive end for Brush, was there).

Wells hadn’t seen the video as of Monday afternoon but told the Emerald he was disappointed in Brown’s actions and thought Helfrich took the right approach in suspending him.

“The message needed to be sent,” Wells said. “I’m not going to say I disagree with it but it’s unfortunate for Pharaoh that he got himself in that situation.”

Wells also said that Brush would’ve handled the situation like Oregon did.

“That’s not what we preach,” Wells said. “There would’ve been consequences if he did that with us.”

Wells said Brown’s suspension isn’t just unfortunate for the athlete himself, but also for the players at Brush who look up to him.

“It’s always nice to have your school and your program represented in big bowl games,” Wells said.

Brown’s actions also seemed to surprise Wells. He described Brown “as a typical teenager” who liked to goof around and have fun in high school, but he never saw or heard Brown do anything as serious as throwing snow on someone in a car.

“He was practical joker when he was around us, but nothing – that I had knowledge of – to that extent,” Wells said.

Brown caught 10 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns this season for Oregon.

Freshman Johnny Mundt and redshirt freshman Evan Baylis are Oregon’s other two tight ends on the active roster and might split time during the Alamo Bowl when the Ducks take on Texas on Dec. 30 in San Antonio, Texas.

Brown is the second tight end to be suspended this season. Former starter Colt Lyerla, who withdrew from the school on Oct. 6, was suspended for Oregon’s game against Tennessee on Sept. 14 and against Colorado on Oct. 5.

Oregon defensive lineman Sam Kamp posted this tweet on Monday afternoon regarding Friday’s incident:

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  • Xavier_Malcolm

    Who is the “Williams” that opened a car door, that Helfrich spoke with on Sunday?

    • Victor Flores

      Meant to say “Simmons.” That’s been fixed. Thank you.

  • Deprecating Duck


    • Billy

      I hear john canzano is looking for interns. You’ll be interviewing soccer moms across the state.

      • Deprecating Duck

        cool story bro

  • ChiDuck

    Just think, had Pharaoh stayed in Ohio and played for Urban Meyer, he could have punched another player in the face, threw his helmet on the ground, kicked a bench over and flipped off 110,000 people and wouldn’t have been suspended for the bowl game. Glad to know Helfrich is keeping standards, unlike Ohio State.


    Good Decision by Helfrich. Hopefully, a lesson and learning experience. Just like Chip with La Garrette Blount, who now has an NFL career. Maybe players will re-focus on” win the day” now. Agree with Chi Duck. With Urban Meyer, everything at Ohio St and previously at Florida goes unnoticed

  • Drsukie

    Are you fricking kidding me? It was snow. Having grown up in the Midwest and experiencing The Big Snow way back when, I am stunned that people would get so upset and that it led to a suspension. Totally overblowing the whole thing. How wussy can the world get? Wait. Do not answer. Sigh.

    • Ash

      Shockingly, it wasn’t the snow. It’s that a bunch of student surrounded cars trying to leave the area, obstructing the drivers’ view while the vehicles were in operation (what if one of the students had been hit?) and kept them from leaving while they threw more snow on them and, in the professor’s case, in his car. It could have been 90 degrees outside and it wouldn’t have mattered–it was the disrespect and the harassment. And hey, what if they’d pelted a University donor? How well do you imagine THAT would’ve gone?

      But hey, personality responsibility is haaaaard, right?

      • Ash


    • Lawrence

      This is a type of comment to clearly show how irresponsible and short sighted some people are. It isn’t about the snow. It is about his involvement and his actions. UO obviously used him as an example to uphold the its reputation. It takes decades to build a strong reputation for a school. It only takes one bad publicity to ruin it. Who cares right?