05 Nov 2015

Letter to the editor from Athletic Director

Mississippi Delta Community College Athletic Director Domino Bellipanni penned an open letter to the editor that was sent to numerous media sources concerning the incident that unfolded at the East Mississippi - Mississippi Delta football game on Oct. 22.



Dear Editor,

I write this open letter to the editor to state the facts and correct the misinformation being dispersed after an in-game altercation occurred between Mississippi Delta Community College and East Mississippi Community College on Oct. 22.

Several media sources have reported inaccurate information over many news outlets, including but not limited to social media, television broadcasts and newspapers.

It has been reported that an EMCC receiver was tackled out of bounds and then shoved back to the ground after the hit was made. However, after reviewing game film multiple times with our coaching staff and administration to understand how the altercation occurred, the footage shows the EMCC player was tackled approximately nine yards inside the white line that marks the out of bounds territory – meaning he was in bounds.

The receiver ran a short pass play toward the Mississippi Delta sideline and the ball went through his hands for an incompletion. Contact was made toward the end of the play by an MDCC defender, which prompted the official to throw a flag. According to a Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges (MACJC) official, the flag was thrown for helmet-to-helmet contact.

In the game film, you can see that no MDCC player shoved the EMCC receiver back to the ground, as has been reported. The footage shows both players involved with the play standing up and exchanging words, which led to the EMCC player hitting two different MDCC defenders in the facemask, which started the altercation.

It is a fact that football is a very physical sport and athletes sometimes lose their cool in the heat of a game. Incidents, such as this, happen when student-athletes play with passion and emotion and coaches can’t predict when something like this will happen. It takes a combined effort from officials, coaches and players to keep their actions in check and under control.

MDCC does not defend the unsportsmanlike behavior of some of its players and those players will serve the punishments assigned by the MACJC. The athletic department and college are satisfied with its findings and are ready to turn the page. The spreading of misinformation, as in this case, can shed a negative light on a very positive thing, such as MDCC Athletics, and I would suggest a little fact checking be conducted in the future.

Domino Bellipanni
Athletic Director
Mississippi Delta Community College

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