Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Eastern Echo Saturday, May 25, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

Eastern Michigan Vs. Northern Illinois

Eastern Michigan football’s Korey Hernandez issues apology for punching South Alabama player post bowl game

South Alabama’s Joel Erdman thanks EMU for reaching out after incident

After the University of South Alabama football program captured its first ever bowl game victory against Eastern Michigan University at the 68 Ventures Bowl, 59-10, a punch from EMU’s senior defensive back Korey Hernandez ignited a post-game brawl at Hancock Whitney Stadium. 

While South Alabama was celebrating and singing its anthem with fans, Hernandez ran up from behind Jaguars’ cornerback Jamarrien Burt and struck him, which then caused the brawl. 

It is not confirmed why Hernandez displayed the action, but some speculate that it was due to a facemask call in the second quarter, while others believe something that was said by Burt caused Hernandez to lash out. 

Eastern Michigan player punches South Alabama player, sparks brawl at bowl game

Hernandez did indeed take to X, formerly known as Twitter, after the incident and issued an apology to Burt, South Alabama head coach Kane Wommack, and the EMU community:

“I must first apologize for the embarrassment that I have caused for my family, my team, and the Mid-American Conference by my actions [last night] ... I understand how my decision impacted so many others, and I am fully accountable in this matter. I will not allow this incident to define my character or my path moving forward as a leader, an athlete, an Eagle, and a father," Hernandez wrote in the statement.

Eastern Michigan Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Wetherbee also issued a statement pointing out that the school strongly condemned the situation: 

“We strongly condemn the actions of some of the student-athletes on the EMU football team in the ugly incident that took place following the 68 Ventures Bowl. We are deeply upset and embarrassed by what happened,” Wetherbee said in the statement. 

South Alabama Athletics Director Joel Erdman expressed his gratitude towards EMU for reaching out and apologizing about the situation: 

“We are grateful to the leadership at Eastern Michigan University for taking ownership of the incident and reaching out to our leadership here at South Alabama to apologize and ensure us they will fully investigate the matter,” Erdman said in the statement.