- Associated Press - Thursday, October 1, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - East Mississippi Community College football coach Buddy Stephens has been given a two-game suspension after an on-field altercation with a game administrator during the Lions’ 48-24 win over Itawamba Community College.

The Clarion-Ledger reports (http://on.thec-l.com/1O6MHam ) the sideline scuffle occurred in the fourth quarter of last Saturday’s game. Video shows the game administrator can be seen throwing his clipboard and appears to swing at Stephens. Stephens then appears to swing at the administrator as he moves toward the official before being restrained.

“While I believe Coach Stephens did not initiate physical contact, he did respond in the heat of the moment in a manner not consistent with our institutional expectations,” said EMCC President Thomas M. Huebner Jr., in a statement Wednesday. “Accordingly, I have suspended Coach Stephens for two games. Both the MACJC and the NJCAA have accepted our self-imposed penalties.”

Thomas Miller, coordinator of football officials for the Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges, did not return a telephone call for comment.

Following the incident, the game administrator was escorted out of the stadium while Stephens volunteered to leave the field and spent the remainder of the game in the press box.

MACJC commissioner Jim Southward said the organization has been investigating the incident for the last four days and handed down the suggested disciplinary action to both parties on Wednesday.

“The suggested guideline is a suspension,” Southward said. “I think the minimum goes from two games up to a period of one year.

“Basically what we did is we just referred them to certain rules and guidelines that we have and kind of left it up to those two individual parties to make the determination if they want to go with the minimum or if they want to impose something more stringent than what is suggested in the guidelines.”

It was unclear whether the game administrator, whose name has not been released, will serve the same two-game suspension.

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Information from: The Clarion-Ledger, http://www.clarionledger.com

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