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Memphis removes Reggis Ball from team, issues apology for ‘highly-inappropriate actions’ following Birmingham Bowl

Michael Niziolek

mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Memphis defensive back Reggis Ball (39) returns an interception as Auburn wide receiver Ricardo Louis (5) tackles him during the Birmingham Bowl NCAA college football game, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. (Albert Cesare | AP Photo)
Memphis defensive back Reggis Ball (39) returns an interception as Auburn wide receiver Ricardo Louis (5) tackles him during the Birmingham Bowl NCAA college football game, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. (Albert Cesare | AP Photo)

The Memphis football program acted swiftly in removing Reggis Ball from the football team Wednesday.

Ball was involved in an altercation with Auburn’s equipment staff following a 31-10 loss in the Birmingham Bowl when he was caught trying to steal a football.

“I want to personally apologize to Jay Jacobs, Gus Malzahn, the Auburn Football team, its fans and the Birmingham Bowl for the highly-inappropriate actions of one of my student-athletes regarding a game ball at the end of Wednesday’s game,” Memphis director of athletics Tom Bowen said in a statement. “This player’s actions are totally unacceptable. He has been immediately removed from the team and we will continue to move swiftly in addressing what occurred.”

Memphis interim coach Darrell Dickey said the team was still gathering facts in his post game press conference.

The team didn’t even get back to campus before issuing a statement dismissing Ball from the team.

Video of the incident taken by a fan surfaced shortly after the game.

Bowen consulted with new coach Mike Norvell, who was hired as the replacement for Virginia Tech-bound Justin Fuente, in making the decision.

Norvell expressed his own disappointment in Ball's actions.

”We’re embarrassed about the actions that occurred after the game and that is definitely not the standards or expectations the Memphis football program stands for,” Norvell said. “Even though Mr. Ball’s football career has ended, he will no longer be a part of the Memphis program because of these actions.”

While Ball graduated in December and doesn’t have any eligibility left, team officials confirmed he wouldn’t be allowed to use any of the football program’s facilities or participate in official team events like Memphis’ upcoming pro-day.

Michael Niziolek covers Auburn football for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Email him at mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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