Two of the three members of the Big East executive committee said yesterday that as a result of the several fights on conference basketball courts this year, including Saturday's game-ending brawl between Georgetown and Pittsburgh, they would consider mandating one-game or even longer suspensions for combatants.

"Someone will have to prove to me that a suspension is not the way to go," said Connecticut Athletic Director Todd Turner, a member of the executive committee, which will have a conference call today with Big East Commissioner Dave Gavitt. Penalties would not be retroactive, Gavitt has said.

"Sure, that's one alternative," said Seton Hall Athletic Director Larry Keating, the committee chairman. "That's the type of thing you have to look at. Whether it's the comissioner {having the authority to suspend players} or something automatic based on being ejected from a game, it has to be considered."

Georgetown Athletic Director Frank Rienzo is the third member of the executive committee, whose membership rotates among directors at all nine Big East schools. Rienzo's office referred calls to GU sports information director Bill Shapland, who said Rienzo would not comment before the meeting.

"I can't guarantee tomorrow that if we play somebody we won't have another fight," Georgetown Coach John Thompson told WUSA-TV-9. "But I'll guarantee that I'll do the best I can to control it."

The executive committee discussion comes in the wake of Saturday's melee between Georgetown and Pittsburgh players in Pittsburgh that forced the game officials to end the contest with four seconds left. There was a fight involving players from the two teams in their earlier meeting at Capital Centre. Both games were on national television.

"We have a P.R. problem," said Syracuse Athletic Director Jake Crouthamel.

"The biggest problem is the fighting, that's number one," Seton Hall's Keating said. "It's more serious in that they were on national television. If the conference is going to take advantage of television exposure, it has to take responsibility for the conduct of its games."

What exactly the committee will decide today remains unclear. Gavitt, who issued a statement Sunday, was traveling yesterday and said through Christine Plonsky of the league office in Providence, R.I., that he would have no further comment until after today's meeting."

Plonsky said the executive committee had the power to make policy for the league, or give more power to the commissioner, in between regularly scheduled league meetings. Any action taken by the committee would be subject to review at the next meeting in May.

"I don't anticipate any solution that will be offensive to anyone," Keating said. "Obviously, we need to do something for the rest of the season. If we need something more formal later we can do it, but I think we can do something right away."

However, Crouthamel said he would not support a change in policy if it was made solely by the committee.

"I suspect the earliest we could implement something would be for this weekend's games," Crouthamel said, "but I don't know if we could. We have a particularly intense weekend coming up in the beginning of March."

Crouthamel meant the conference tournament, March 10-13 at New York's Madison Square Garden. The athletic directors said they want the intensity without the fights.

"No matter what the sport -- baseball, basketball, football -- competition at times can lead to something such as fighting," Keating said. "You don't want to overreact to something that is a byproduct of the competition. You do want to discourage fighting, but you can never do away with it entirely.

"Maybe it was presumptuous on our part to assume the coaches could control it, though that isn't meant to be critical of them. It might be something where we need a more formal penalty."

Thompson said he has an idea why his team might be involved in fights.

"We pick up {defensively} base line to base line and people generally say that if you play Georgetown, the pressure is on you all game long," he said. "There's going to be physical contact all day long because we're not in a zone waiting for you to come back, so it provides more opportunity for me to get in a hassle with you. The other thing is that we've won five of the eight Big East championships. We're the team people are shooting at." As for any change, it may have to come from the league. Said Thompson of his team's style, "We're not going to stop what we've been doing."