February 26, 2016

Oregon's Moccia Suspended After Game Footage Review

from LaxMagazine.com staff reports | Twitter

Following Oregon's 17-13 win over Detroit last Sunday, Ducks senior defender Jackie Moccia was suspended Wednesday for one game after the university and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation received video footage of "unsportsmanlike conduct" against a Titans player, an Oregon spokesperson confirmed Friday.

A video posted Thursday on Deadspin shows three separate incidents in which Moccia apparently uses her stick to strike Detroit freshman attacker Lexie Kinmond in the head.

Moccia was issued a yellow card at the 23:43 mark in the first half. Oregon later removed Moccia from the game after noticing unsportsmanlike conduct that was not penalized, the spokesperson said. Moccia did not return to the field for the remainder of the game.

Detroit coach Laura Maness released the following statement to Deadspin at 7:13 p.m. Thursday:

"The refs missed all of these cheap shots as they happened off ball, but early in the game she was issued a yellow card for another hard foul. Her behavior escalated throughout the game. [The] Oregon athletic department, the Mountain Pacific Sports [Federation] and the officiating assignor have all had access to the video footage afterwards, as we wanted to bring them in the loop of what had happened, and we were seeking discipline action to be taken. At no point did anyone involve ask me about the well being of my student-athlete. When she got off with a one-game suspension for what was three separate ejectable offenses, we decided it would be best to share the video on social media to bring to light the importance of safe play, and to try to preserve the integrity of the game that we love."

After reviewing the video Wednesday, the MPSF and Oregon coaching staff collaborated to determine the appropriate disciplinary action. Ducks coach Jen Beck then suspended Moccia for one game.

"I was immediately in contact with the University of Oregon and went through a process," MSPF commissioner Al Beaird said. "From our perspective, things were handled appropriately in that manner. We consulted with a number of different people, [including] the officiating coordinator. We're confident that what we did was appropriate."

"I have reviewed both the entire game film and the clip of the three specific incidents with the three game officials and the assignor, and as indicated by the coach, all three of those incidents took place off ball and not within the eyesight of those three officials," said Melissa Coyne, national coordinator of officials for the NCAA. "Having said that, we always take this opportunity to use this as an educational tool. Nothing like this incident should go unpunished on the field. With everything else they're evaluating on the field, they can't lose sight of things occurring off ball. These are three very highly rated officials. They are extremely disappointed that these things happened on their watch. All three of them indicated had they seen any one of those incidents occur, they would have immediately ejected that player. We'll use it as a teaching moment and move on."

Moccia will serve her one-game suspension against William and Mary on Sunday. According to the Oregon spokesperson, Moccia expressed remorse for her actions and sent an apology Wednesday to Maness and the MPSF.

"The university, department of athletics and our lacrosse program have high expectations of our student-athletes on and off of the field," Beck said. "After speaking with Jackie, I am confident she understands our expectations and will not display poor unsportsmanlike behavior again."

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