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Rich Rodriguez: Punishment for fight to be doled out after new year

Arizona Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez will deal with the players involved in the sideline fight during the New Mexico Bowl after the start of the new year.

“We’re mad and embarrassed,” Rodriguez told TucsonCitizen.com on Tuesday, talking about the punches thrown between junior nose tackle Tevin Hood and true freshman linebacker Cody Ippolito.

“We’re going to meet and then I’m going to determine their punishment going forward. That is something that should never happen. Knowing the two young men, it’s completely out of character.”

Rodriguez, upon learning of the first-quarter fight during the game, sent both players to the locker room and then sent their home via their families. They missed out on one of the great endings in school history as the Cats scored 14 points in the final minute to win 49-48 in Albuquerque.

Rodriguez said the punishment will be a little more serious than just extra running in the offseason.

“They’re going to have to deal with the punishment,” Rodriguez said. “They already have, but they’re going to have to deal with it further and make such something close to that never happens again.”

Hood, a walk-on transfer from the University of San Diego, made 26 tackles, including three for loss, this season. He started three games. Ippolito played in seven games on special teams. Both are from the Phoenix area.

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