Some players punch water coolers. Others take it out on each other in practice. Then there is the curious case of New Mexico senior linebacker Evahelotu Tohi and a fight that left a teammate hospitalized.
According to the Albuquerque Journal and KOB TV, an altercation involving Tohi and a teammate took place on Saturday night — away from any practice or team activity — and the result is the 6-foot-2, 227-pound Tohi is now suspended from all team activities.
New Mexico Lobos head coach Bob Davie knew of the fight over the weekend, and Tohi still practiced this week, but once enough of the facts in the matter were presented, the decision to suspend the team’s leading tackler was made.
Why did Davie wait so long to suspend Tohi? Well, not only is it a major decision to make regarding one of the struggling Lobos’ best players in the middle of a bad losing streak, but it’s also because the two players involved are friends.
Davie nor UNM officials, including athletic director Eddie Nuñez, are releasing the name of the other teammate, but obviously the fight was serious enough that he remains in the hospital.
“I was made aware of an incident that happened Saturday night involving two of our student-athletes. Although all the details are still being gathered, I think it’s appropriate at this time to suspend Evah Tohi from all team activities. The University will continue to work through proper procedures and once the process is completed, appropriate action will be taken.” — New Mexico head coach Bob Davie
This is a tough situation on multiple levels. On one hand, a fight between college football teammates happened and that’s never a great thing. On the other, the Lobos will be without Tohi for the foreseeable future.
Tohi, from Phoenix, Arizona, leads New Mexico football with 57 tackles, including six tackles for loss, four pass deflections, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. He scooped up a fumble for a touchdown against Utah State last weekend.
The drama in college football is for real right now.