There is no denying Notre Dame freshman Cameron Biedscheid exchanged punches with St. John's sophomore Sir'Dominic Pointer near the end of the No. 24 Irish's 66-40 home win over the Red Storm on Tuesday night.
There is also now way the Irish can talk the Big East into not denying Biedscheid, a 6-foot-7 reserve forward, a chance to play in the regular-season finale when Notre Dame (23-7, 11-6) travels to play No. 8 Louisville (25-5, 13-4) at 4 p.m. Saturday.
"There's no way you can un-ring the bell when it's deemed a fight," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said during a teleconference Wednesday. "There's no appeals process, which is disappointing.
"One of the things I said to (Big East coordinator of officials Art Hyland) was, 'Do you really think the penalty is fair compared to other young man and the escalation?' And there really is no answer to that. Once it's deemed a fight, which it was, and he was throwing punches, it is what it is."
Biedscheid and Pointer became entangled during a dead ball with 1:46 to play in Tuesday's game. Pointer then came at Biedscheid and appeared to throw the first punch, which Biedscheid responded to with a punch of his own.
Both players were given technicals and ejected from the game, and the one-game suspension went into affect.
Biedscheid will travel with Notre Dame to Louisville and participate in the morning shoot around, but he will not be allowed to sit on the Irish's bench. Brey said Biedscheid will sit with some of the players' families behind the bench.
Biedscheid will be able to return when Big East tournament play begins next week in Madison Square Garden.
"I talked to (Biedscheid) last night, and you know his first thing was, 'Coach, I'm really sorry,' " Brey said. "I said, 'Don't apologize. You defended yourself.' I told my son the same thing when he was young. … I said absolutely defended yourself. You did the right thing. I'm sorry you got to sit out a game. Let's learn from it."
St. John's coach Steve Lavin told reporters Tuesday that Pointer apologized for the fight and said he lost his cool. Pointer will not play in the Red Storm's home game against Marquette at 2 p.m. Saturday.