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Man assaulted by cowbell at Mississippi State game sues alleged attacker, SEC

 

The Associated Press

 

STARKVILLE -- A man involved in an incident last year in which he was hit with a cowbell at a Mississippi State football game has sued his alleged attacker and the Southeastern Conference. 

 

Records in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court show William Matthew Brasher filed a civil lawsuit last month against Brent Morgan Vowell of Columbus and against the Southeastern Conference in connection with the Nov. 28, 2009, incident during the post-game celebration following MSU''s football win over Mississippi in Starkville. 

 

Brasher and Vowell were Mississippi State students, according to the complaint. 

 

Vowell was arrested and charged with aggravated assault in the incident. Vowell''s trial is scheduled for January in Starkville. He remains free on a $10,000 bond. 

 

Brasher, whose name had not been previously released by authorities, suffered head wound in the incident. Police said the incident occurred after some verbal sparring among students, including Vowell. 

 

Brasher''s lawsuit, filed by two Oxford attorneys, seeks unspecified damages from the SEC and commissioner Mike Slive, alleging that the league knowingly refused to enforce its 1974 rule banning artificial noisemakers at all conference athletic events. 

 

"If the SEC had taken the steps necessary to enforce its rule prohibiting artificial noisemakers, including cowbells, Mr. Brasher would not have been attacked with a cowbell," the lawsuit states. 

 

Brasher''s lawsuit alleges that when Vowell struck him with the cowbell, he was knocked unconscious and suffered a 4-inch laceration that required staples to close the wound. 

 

Mississippi State was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit. The complaint said the school has been served a claim by Brasher and that he could add MSU to the suit if that claim is denied. 

 

Officials with the SEC, Mississippi State and attorneys for Brasher would not comment. 

 

Faced with growing pressure to enforce the ban on the cowbell, Mississippi State struck a compromise with the SEC in June. It allowed the bell to be brought into games if it was only used at certain times. 

 

Mississippi State stressed compliance all season, but results have been mixed. Since the compromise was a one-year trial, it''ll be revisited at the conference meetings next June.

 

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment charliebrown commented at 12/4/2010 4:13:00 PM:

Wow, what a way to get some money for nothing. If an individual assaulted you take it out on them, don't try to blame anybody and anything around just to try to get something. Pretty sorry in my opinion.

 

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