Legendary Celtics coach Red Auerbach famously used to light up a cigar on the Boston bench as soon as he thought that a win was assured. Times have certainly changed since Auerbach’s Celtics dynasty, but the cigar as a symbol of victory has remained.
Unfortunately for one Division II football program, lighting up anywhere you please can now carry some consequences.
Ferris State, which won its second consecutive D-II national championship this season, has been disciplined by the NCAA for “damage that occurred at the host stadium” of this year’s national title game. According to Football Scoop, the primary issue stems from two Ferris State players smoking victory cigars after the win—an act that was problematic given that the game was being held at a Texas high school stadium that prohibits the use of tobacco.
The incident happened following the Bulldogs’ 41–14 victory over Colorado School of Mines in the national championship game on Dec. 17. Among the penalties includes a one-game suspension for head coach Tony Annese in the next D-II playoff game.
The school was also levied a $2,500 fine and ordered to pay $15,383 restitution for cleaning and repair expenses to the McKinney Independent School District.
“The subcommittee fully supports the actions taken by the Division II Football Committee in this case,” subcommittee chair and Mountain East Conference commissioner Reid Amos said. “The inappropriate conduct associated with this action will not be tolerated at any NCAA Division II championship.”