St. Louis Battlehawks best player suspended for 15 games

XFL ruckus brings league-imposed suspensions,

The closing seconds of the XFL’s St. Louis Battlehawks-D.C. Defenders game on Sunday dissolved into piles of pushing and shoving, a few punches and one long-distance helmet throw that brought players off the sidelines onto the field.

Three players were disqualified before the Defenders snapped the football for a kneel-down to close their 34-28 victory at Audi Field in Washington.

On Tuesday, XFL President Russ Brandon imposed the league’s discipline for the altercation, with three players receiving suspensions, including former Auburn standout Gabe Wright, a D.C. defensive tackle who must sit out one game.

Among the six players fined for their actions on Sunday was Defenders linebacker Jamal Brooks, a South Alabama alumnus.

Defenders linebacker Francis Bernard and Battlehawks offensive lineman Jaryd Jones-Smith received two-game suspensions.

Also fined an undisclosed amount were D.C. cornerback Anthoula Kelly and guard Rod Taylor and St. Louis defensive back Nate Meadows, linebacker Travis Feeney and running back Brian Hill.

Bernard, Hill and Taylor were the players who were ejected by the officiating crew.

The fined D.C. defensive-line coach Jeremy Watkins and St. Louis special-teams coordinator Tory Woodbury, too.

In announcing the penalties, the XFL noted the suspended players could not practice or play but could attend team meetings, fitness workouts ad meals and warned future violations would lead to more severe discipline, including the possibility of contract termination.

The altercation began after Battlehawks quarterback AJ McCarron was sacked by outside linebacker Davin Bellamy on a fourth-and-15 play as St. Louis sought to keep the football trailing by six points with 22 seconds to play.

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