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4 UNLV football players suspended for role in UNR brawl

Updated December 16, 2019 - 1:23 pm

Four UNLV football players have been suspended as a result of the postgame brawl following the Rebels’ win over UNR at Reno on Nov. 30, the Mountain West announced Monday.

Safety Evan Austrie, tight end Noah Bean, tight end Giovanni Fauolo Sr. and guard Justin Polu were suspended, while wide receiver Steve Jenkins was given a public reprimand for violating the league’s sportsmanship rule.

Fauolo was suspended for the first two games of the 2020 season. Bean will miss UNLV’s 2020 season opener.

The Mountain West will defer to UNLV for appropriate disciplinary action for Austrie and Polu, since they have exhausted their college eligibility, as any action would be handled internally.

The Rebels open next season Aug. 29 against California at Allegiant Stadium. UNLV plays Louisiana Tech on Sept. 5 at Allegiant or Sam Boyd Stadium, pending the outcome of a dispute between the university and the Raiders regarding usage of Allegiant.

Next season will be the first under new UNLV coach Marcus Arroyo.

“We appreciate the Mountain West’s comprehensive review of the postgame incident in Reno,” UNLV athletic director Desiree Reed-Francois said in a statement. “The appeal process is complete, and we accept the final decisions. We are moving on and look forward to celebrating what is a great college football rivalry each and every year.”

Four UNR football players were also issued suspensions last Tuesday by the Mountain West for their involvement.

Wolf Pack defensive back Austin Arnold was suspended for two games. Defensive back Daniel Brown and defensive tackle Hausia Sekona were suspended for one game, and linebacker Gabriel Sewell was suspended for one half. The suspensions include the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise on Jan. 3 when UNR plays Ohio.

Fauolo was seen in videos appearing to swing his helmet at fans in the bleachers in the south end zone.

Bean and UNR’s Sekona wrestled in a snow bank near those bleachers. A stadium in-house video provided to the Review-Journal through a public-records request showed Bean laying prone in the snow while UNLV defensive tackle Kolo Uasike went to check on him.

The actions by Austrie and Polu weren’t as evident on various public videos.

Jenkins didn’t appear to be involved in any fights, but he indirectly had a hand in the skirmish. UNLV won the game 33-30 when quarterback Kenyon Oblad completed a 19-yard touchdown pass in overtime to Jenkins, who quickly began to run near UNR’s sideline, apparently taunting the Wolf Pack.

Oblad then appeared to say something to Arnold, who slammed Oblad to the turf.

In a video of the brawl, both teams were seen coming together by the bleachers in the south end zone before being separated by coaches, police and other security.

The Mackay Stadium video showed UNLV players and UNR fans yelling at each other as snowballs and objects flew from the stands. Players and fans also exchanged obscene gestures.

Fans in those bleachers tossed objects onto the field, and a plastic soda bottle hit Review-Journal videographer Cassie Soto on her left ear. She was not seriously injured.

More Rebels: Follow at reviewjournal.com/Rebels.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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