Dodd-Masters was flagged against Wyoming
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A University of Nevada-Las Vegas Rebels cornerback will miss this weekend's matchup against Colorado State after the Mountain West Conference handed down a one-game suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct, officials said.
Ruschard Dodd-Masters, 22, was accused of throwing a punch and striking a University of Wyoming player in the throat near the end of a play in Saturday's 53-45 triple-overtime win by the Cowboys.
The Wyoming player, receiver Josh Barge, was hit in the throat. He missed several plays but returned to the game.
"This type of action has no place in sport and simply will not be tolerated in the Mountain West Conference," said Craig Thompson, commissioner of the Colorado Springs-based organization. "The MWC will continue to aggressively enforce its Sportsmanship Policy in an effort to create a culture of spirited competition coupled with exemplary conduct."
The Rebels were assessed a 15-yard penalty on the play, which occurred at 6:07 of the third quarter. Thompson called the hit a "potentially dangerous non-football act that clearly fell under the definition of 'physical abuse."'
The conference's Sportsmanship Policy specifically includes "striking or attempting to strike or otherwise physically abusing an official, coach, spectator or student-athlete" among the violations subject to disciplinary action.
MWC officials said their decision in Dodd-Masters' case also took into account his half-game suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct in 2003.
Dodd-Masters, a senior from Richmond, Calif., earned defensive player of the week honors from the MWC last season following his performance in a game against Hawaii.
Rebels head coach John Robinson has called Dodd-Masters a player who "not only matured into an old pro at cornerback but also worked his way into now being a potential all-star," according to a statement on the team's Web site.
UNLV (2-7, 1-4) will meet Colorado State (3-6, 2-3) Saturday at Sonny Lubick Field in Fort Collins, where the Rams hope to recover from last weekend's 63-31 road loss to Utah.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press