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:
The Snow Incident should NOT reflect upon the Oregon student body or Student Athletes as a whole… That is not our standard
— Samuel Kamp (@sammuriah) December 9, 2013
Follow Victor Flores on Twitter @vflores415