Coach arrested for hitting Marshall fan (Notebook)

Bernard Schwartz

When Robert and Todd Flaugher joined thousands of other Marshall fans on the field in the aftermath of the Thundering Herd’s stunning last-second victory over Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday night, neither brother expected his post-game celebration to end with a late-night ride to St. Mary’s Medical Center.

“My brother was jumping up and down, celebrating with the Marshall players,” Todd Flaugher said on Wednesday. “He said he was waving goodbye to the Miami players and that one of them threw their mouthpieces at him. He said the next thing he knew, he was in an ambulance.

“It was a sucker punch basically.”

The man responsible for putting such an abrupt end to the Flaughers’ evening was Miami defensive coordinator Jon Wauford, who left the field in handcuffs and now faces misdemeanor battery charges.

Witness Matt Riley said he saw Wauford “just take his forearm and give (Flaugher) a quick shove. His head looked like it snapped back and hit the turf hard.”

A West Virginia police spokesman said Wednesday that two of the three state troopers who arrested Wauford observed the incident and then moved into position.

“To see one of my coaches led away in handcuffs was one of the most difficult things I’ve seen since I’ve been here,” Miami president James Garland said.

Police reports said Robert Flaugher hit his head on the artificial turf and was carried off the field with a concussion. He underwent a CT scan and had a “pounding headache,” his brother Todd said from the hospital.

Along with Wauford, Miami linebackers coach Taver Johnson was also suspended without pay on Wednesday. Johnson admitted to damaging Marshall’s coaches’ box after Tuesday’s game, Miami head coach Terry Hoeppner said.

Hoeppner also said he believed Wauford, a third-year assistant coach and former Miami defensive end, would be exonerated.

“It was emotional in all contexts,” Hoeppner said.

GONE SKIIN’: Jeremy Bloom is headed back to the slopes.

The Colorado wide receiver and defending world champion in the moguls will resume competition this winter, despite the Buffaloes (7-3) being bowl eligible.

“I met with coach (Gary) Barnett today about my ski schedule,” Bloom said. “I’m going to compete in a World Cup Dec. 19 in Finland before the bowl game.”

Because of NCAA eligibility regulations, Bloom, who broke the school record for longest reception on his first career catch, was forced to relinquish his skiing endorsements when he decided to suit up for Colorado. He is also not allowed to hire a ski coach.

“This weekend after the Iowa State game will be my first time on skis in seven months,” Bloom said.

‘BAMA’S BACK: When No. 14 Louisiana State (7-2) welcomes No. 10 Alabama (8-2) to Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday night, the Tigers will play host to one of the most improved defensive lines in the country.

“This has got to be one of the more dominating fronts in college football,” Louisiana State head coach Nick Saban said.

The Crimson Tide, ranked third nationally in total defense, boasts the fifth-best run defense and 12th-best scoring defense, allowing a combined 43 points in its last four games.

Alabama is trying to avenge last year’s 35-21 loss to the Tigers, in which the defense gave up an embarrassing 611 total yards.

“It’s not even comparable,” Crimson Tide head coach Dennis Franchione said. “(The team is) just much better, much more experienced, much more confident.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.