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Rich Rodriguez sends home two players after ‘embarrasing’ sideline fight

ALBUQUERQUE — Arizona Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez sent two players home after they were involved in an altercation on the sideline in the first quarter of the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday.

Junior nose tackle Tevin Hood and true freshman linebacker Cody Ippolito took swings at each on the sideline and had to be separated by teammates.

Coach Rich Rodriguez said he didn’t see the fight.

“I’m coaching the game,” he said after Arizona’s 49-48 victory over Nevada.

“But as soon as I heard what happened, we sent the guys in the locker room. They went home, I believe, with their parents. So it was embarrassing, but I didn’t see it, so I can’t comment on it.”

Hood, who started the game, has been splitting time with Sione Tuihalamaka at nose tackle. Tuihalamaka left the game in the first quarter with a left leg injury, leaving little-used senior Chris Merrill to man the inside position for most of the rest of the game.

Ippolito has been on some special teams.

You can see video of the altercation here.

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