A threatened team boycott of the Poulan-Weed Eater Independence Bowl fizzled after Louisiana Tech president Dan Reneau threatened to forfeit the game, fire the coaching staff and start the football program anew, a newspaper reported.
The Shreveport Journal quoted unidentified sources yesterday as saying Louisiana Tech football players threatened to boycott the bowl game against Maryland, which ended in a 34-34 tie.
The rebellion, which reportedly was sparked by players who were angry over disciplinary measures imposed on defensive end Eric Shaw for his role in a shooting incident, had the "tacit approval of some Tech coaches," the newspaper said.
The Journal's story followed Wednesday's announcement by Reneau that head football coach Joe Raymond Peace was reprimanded for failing to enforce disciplinary measures against Shaw and four other players involved in the November shooting incident.
Shaw, Tech's second-leading tackler this season with 108 stops and three sacks, allegedly fired a gun after an argument with a Grambling State University student at an apartment complex near the Tech campus in the city of Ruston, about 90 miles east of Shreveport.
Shaw was suspended before the game. He remained on indefinite suspension from the team and four other players reportedly involved in the incident have since been disciplined, Reneau said Wednesday.
Peace was reprimanded for failing to enforce disciplinary procedures after the incident, Reneau said.
Reneau had no comment on the report of a players' boycott threat, except to say he is proud of the Bulldogs' staff and team. "They did a magnificent job in the way they played and coached," he said.
Athletic director Jerry Stovall also declined to respond to the reports.