Ducks start snowball fight gone bad

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Oregon has suspended starting tight end Pharaoh Brown for the Valero Alamo Bowl for his role in a snowball fight.

Unidentified players reportedly organized the snowball fight and more than 100 students participated.

According to a video that went viral Monday, the group stopped several cars and pelted them with snowballs and dumped containers of snow on windshields. In one case, a driver who got out of his car -- identified by KATU-TV as former professor Sherwin Simmons -- was hit repeatedly and had a large container of snow thrown on him through the driver's side door.

"I was one of the many UO students involved in the snowball fight on Friday, and my actions escalated to an inappropriate level and, for that, I sincerely apologize," Brown said in a statement released by the university. "We never should have engaged innocent people, and I deeply regret my actions and will accept the consequences."

The suspension was announced Monday by coach Mark Helfrich, who has apologized to the targeted drivers. Helfrich had promised discipline during the weekend, saying the behavior shown in the video was "completely unacceptable and dangerous."

Other players involved in the fight received unspecified punishments but will be allowed to play in the bowl game. All students involved in the fight, including nonplayers, are subject to further discipline from the dean of students, the university said.

"On Saturday, I was made aware of an incident that occurred Friday afternoon during the snow day involving multiple Oregon students, including members of the football team," Helfrich said in a statement. "The behavior exhibited in the video is completely unacceptable and dangerous. We take this matter very seriously and disciplinary actions have begun."

Brown, a 6-foot-6, 241-pound sophomore, caught 10 passes during the regular season and scored two touchdowns. He started five of the nine games in which he appeared, getting more playing time after starting tight end Colt Lyerla left the team in October to prepare for an NFL career following a one-game suspension for violating team rules. Lyerla was later arrested for cocaine possession and is awaiting trial after pleading not guilty.

Simmons told KATU that he would not press charges. The university said it was investigating.

"They started out having good fun, it kind of went to a mob mentality, and in the end I don't believe -- I don't know everybody this happened to -- but I don't believe anyone got hurt," university administrator Krysten Mayfair told The Oregonian. "Yes, they broke student conduct code, and if the UO has a procedure for that, then that's what should happen."

The No. 10 Ducks accepted a bid Sunday to play Texas in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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