Harvard receiver dismissed after 'disrespectful' skit

Updated: September 23, 2006, 1:03 PM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- Harvard football coach Tim Murphy dismissed a wide receiver from the team after what he called a "disrespectful" sketch the player performed during the team's traditional "Skit Night."

Keegan Toci, 21, of Tuscon, Ariz., became the latest in a string of Harvard football players who've recently been suspended or dismissed from the team, including former captain Matthew Thomas, who was cut after he was arrested in June on domestic assault charges.

Murphy cut Toci during a special team meeting he called after the skits were performed early in September, before the season began, The Boston Globe reported. Toci's skit cited 20 reasons why the school's Division I-AA football program would never rise to Division I-A.

Toci has asked Harvard officials to reinstate him, the Globe reported.

The Globe reported that many players said they were less offended by Toci's skit than other acts, including one suggesting that the team's running back, Clifton Dawson, performed oral sex on Murphy.

Murphy declined to discuss Toci's skit in detail, but said, "He was dismissed because of a mean-spirited attack on the training staff, coaching staff, players, strength coaches and Harvard University in general."

Toci, a backup during his first three seasons with the team, also would not discuss the skit when reached by the phone by the Globe.

"I appreciate you contacting me," Toci said. "I am currently trying to resolve the matter administratively, but I have been unsuccessful thus far."

In June, Thomas, a linebacker, was arrested after allegedly breaking into his former girlfriend's dorm room and striking her.

Thomas was stripped of his captaincy and later dismissed from the team. He's awaiting trial on domestic battery and other charges.

In April, Murphy suspended tight end Dan Lane and defensive back James Velissaris for the team's opening game against Holy Cross after the two were involved in a drinking-related altercation with a shuttle driver.

In August, Murphy gave starting quarterback Liam O'Hagan a five-game suspension for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press