Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Auburn Tigers: 2015 Birmingham Bowl Champions



BIRMINGHAM – Memphis safety Reggis Ball has been removed from the football team following a post-game incident that involved the Auburn equipment staff.

According to multiple local reports, Ball attempted to steal a football from the Auburn equipment staff following Auburn’s 31-10 victory in the Birmingham Bowl Wednesday. Ball was reportedly stopped by multiple Auburn equipment employees and a physical altercation took place.

   “I want to personally apologize to Jay Jacobs, Gus Malzahn, the Auburn Football team, its fans and the Birmingham Bowl for the highly-inappropriate actions of one of my student-athletes regarding a game ball at the end of Wednesday’s game,” Memphis athletics director Tom Bowen said in a university statement. “This player’s actions are totally unacceptable. He has been immediately removed from the team and we will continue to move swiftly in addressing what occurred."

Ball had a 53-yard interception return for a touchdown to tie the score at 10 with 3:06 left in the second quarter. Ball had two interceptions and one tackle for a loss Wednesday.

After Ball escaped with the football, the redshirt senior reportedly flipped his middle finger to the crowd and Auburn players as he left the field. Even though Ball’s college career is over at the Birmingham Bowl, his removal from the football program restricts him from using the athletic facilities at all and makes him ineligible to participate in the school’s Pro Day in the future months.

“We’re embarrassed about the actions that occurred after the game and that is definitely not the standards or expectations the Memphis football program stands for,” Memphis new head coach Mike Norvell said. “Even though Mr. Ball’s football career has ended, he will no longer be a part of the Memphis program because of these actions.”

In the post-game media conference, Memphis interim head coach Darrell Dickey said he was still gathering the facts about the situation but hours later Memphis officials informed the media of Ball’s dismissal.

“I consulted with University of Memphis President M. David Rudd and have spoken to both incoming head coach Mike Norvell and interim head coach Darrell Dickey and they completely support my decision,” Bowen said.
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