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Frat House Brawl Said to Involve Montana Football Players

September 17, 1996

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) _ Missoula police are investigating a brawl early Sunday involving Montana football players and members of the Sigma Chi fraternity.

Coach Mick Dennehy said he was aware of the incident and that some players were involved, but he did not know to what extent.

``We’ll wait until we get the facts from the police department,″ Dennehy said.

Athletic director Wayne Hogan said he believed between six and eight players were involved, although ``we’re still trying to piece together all of the info.″

``We’ve spent some time running down guys and trying to piece it together,″ he said, calling reports of the incident ``confusing and strewn-about.″

Montana, the defending I-AA national champion and ranked No. 2 nationally so far this fall, defeated nonconference foe Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo 43-0 on Saturday.

Police were called to the Sigma Chi house about 1:45 a.m. Sunday. At least nine city and university police responded. Missoula police officer Guy Backer said there were ``easily a hundred people there.″

``We said the party was over,″ Baker said. ``No one wanted to file a complaint that they were assaulted.″

But about 4 p.m. Sunday, some fraternity members went to the police department and filed assault complaints, accusing the players of attacking them in their house.

Sigma Chi president Guy Atkins said the fight started when a belligerent player was asked to leave.

``We were just trying to get him to leave the premises,″ Atkins said, acknowledging there were some ``punches thrown.″

Ray Brummett, one of the fraternity members who filed a complaint, said about 15 men later rushed into the house.

``I asked them to leave my house,″ Brummett said. ``Then I was assaulted by two guys. I was thrown down these stairs.″

Players contacted Monday declined comment about the incident. Hogan said some already have called fraternity members to apologize.

``They feel terrible about the fact that it happened,″ he said. ``There’s no question that neither the coach nor I condone this in any way.″

He said the athletic department will continue to look into the matter.

Missoula Police Sgt. Jim Neumayer said police have seven people listed as victims in the case, but he would not say whether those were fraternity members or players or both. He said two people are listed as suspects, and more may be added to the list, but he would not identify them.

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