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Jay Drew
Jay covers BYU athletics for The Salt Lake Tribune. You can follow him on Twitter @drewjay.

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SMC backup forward suspended one game for striking BYU's Mika

Saint Mary’s forward Garrett Jackson will be forced to sit out one game for striking BYU forward Eric Mika in the face with his elbow and forearm in the waning moments of the Cougars’ 84-71 win over the Gaels on Saturday night at the Marriott Center.

Responding to my query regarding the matter on Monday night, WCC basketball spokesperson Ryan McCrary noted via email: "Since the Garrett Jackson incident was entered in the official book as fighting, he will serve a one-game NCAA-mandated suspension."

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McCrary said the NCAA’s rule regarding suspensions for fighting "supersedes WCC action."

So why no official announcement from the league earlier Monday?

"The WCC policy on releasing details of suspensions/reprimands is considered on a case-by-case basis," McCrary noted.

Jackson, a transfer from USC who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, entered the game for the first time with three minutes, 18 seconds remaining. The incident occurred with 49 seconds remaining.

Jackson missed nine games from Dec. 25 to Jan. 30 with a knee injury before playing seven minutes in the Gaels’ loss at San Diego on Thursday night. He will have to miss the Gaels’ game at Loyola Marymount this Thursday.

Here’s the section of the NCAA Rule Book cited by the league office:

Section 5. Suspensions for Fighting

Art. 1. A fight is a flagrant 2 foul.

Art. 2. A fight is a confrontation involving one or more players, coaches or other team personnel wherein (but not limited to) a fist, hand, arm, foot, knee or leg is used to combatively strike the other individual.

Art. 3. When, during a confrontation, an individual attempts to strike another individual with any of the actions defined in Art. 2, whether there is contact is irrelevant. The perpetrator shall be deemed to have been involved in a fight.

BYU coach Dave Rose was asked after the game about Mika’s penchant for getting under his opponent’s skin.

"I think Eric is a physical player, and I think that the Gonzaga game and these two games this weekend, I think our whole staff is pleased at just how active he is again, after where I thought he was kind of favoring that leg for awhile. The key for him is to make sure he plays within himself, but continues to be the physical presence that he is, because that is what makes him good," Rose said.

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