TV Analyst Fired Over Brawl Comments
Monday, October 16, 2006; 6:27 PM
MIAMI -- Former Miami player Lamar Thomas lost his TV analyst job Monday over comments he made during a sideline-clearing brawl involving the Hurricanes and Florida International.
Comcast Sports SouthEast, a regional cable network that hired Thomas before the season, also decided to edit out his comments before the game is replayed later this week.
"We were disappointed in the incident that happened on the field and regret the way it was handled in the broadcast booth," CSS general manager Mark Fuhrman said. "We do not support or condone the inappropriate comments made by color analyst Lamar Thomas and have taken the necessary steps to prevent a similar situation from ever occurring again."
CSS, which is available in 5.5 million homes, will replay the game twice Wednesday.
Thomas made his comments as dozens of Miami and FIU players stormed the Orange Bowl field and fought during the third quarter of their teams' game Saturday night, an incident that led to the suspension of at least 31 players and forced officials from both schools to publicly apologize for the melee.
"Now, that's what I'm talking about," Thomas said as the brawl raged out of control. "You come into our house, you should get your behind kicked. You don't come into the OB playing that stuff. You're across the ocean over there. You're across the city. You can't come over to our place talking noise like that. You'll get your butt beat. I was about to go down the elevator to get in that thing."
Miami and Florida International have campuses 9 miles apart in Miami-Dade County. It was the first meeting between the two programs, and the Hurricanes went on to win 35-0.
As the fight slowed, Thomas' comments continued.
"I say, why don't they just meet outside in the tunnel after the ball game and get it on some more? You don't come into the OB, baby," Thomas said. "We've had a down couple years but you don't come in here talking smack. Not in our house."
A tape of the fight, including Thomas' comments, was available on the Internet on Sunday and Monday. The game was available for viewing Saturday night on a pay-per-view basis.
Thomas was a third-round draft pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1993 and spent six seasons in the NFL, three with the Bucs and three with the Miami Dolphins.
He has a Gainesville address, but there was no listed telephone number for him in that area. He could not be reached Monday.
Fuhrman said CSS consulted with Miami officials before determining what action needed to be taken. Miami recommends on-air personnel for its broadcasts, Fuhrman said.