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Should 32 UGA Football Players Be Suspended, According To NCAA Rules?

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Thirty-two Georgia Bulldogs football players left the designated team area while a fight was going on in last Saturday's game against the Auburn Tigers. A valid argument can be made that those players did not actually fight anyone or throw any punches. But, their intent when they left the sidelines during the fight was exactly this: to participate in the fight. Whether the individuals were simply planning on breaking up the scuffle, or if they wanted to protect a teammate from injury, those two options are in themselves participating in the fight.

And by rule, they should be suspended for a game. 

NCAA Rule 9-5-1-c

c. During either half, coaches or substitutes shall not leave their team area to participate in a fight, nor shall they participate in a fight in their team area.    

PENALTY-15 yards from the succeeding spot, plus first down for Team B fouls if the first down is not in conflict with other rules. Disqualification for the remainder of the game and for the next game [S7, S27 or S38, and S47]. 

Let's go to the tape and see which Georgia players left the team area during the Auburn game:


The Georgia players left "their team area to participate in a fight," and they should face "disqualification...for the next game." 

A larger version of the image can be seen here. 

According to the creator of the image who did the hard work of counting everyone, here are the players on the field that were not involved in the play: 

Players on the field NOT involved in the play:
2, Brandon Boykin
5, Blake Sailors
6, Logan Gray
10, Jordan Love
13, Drew Butler
15, Marlon Brown
16, Josh Murray
17, Rantavious Wooten
20, Derek Owens
23, Jakar Hamilton
24, Ken Malcome
25, Vance Cuff
28, Israel Troupe
33, Chase Vasser
35, Michael Gilliard
37, Akeem Hebron
38, Marcus Dowtin
39, Dustin Royston
46, Alex Ogletree
47, Chad Gloer
48, Kosta Vavlas
50, Darryl Gamble
51, Akeem Dent
63, Chris Davis
64, Dallas Lee
70, A.J. Harmon
72, Kenarious Gates
81, Aron White
83, Cornelius Washington
85, Derrick Lott
86, Derek Rich
89, Bruce Figgins

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.