I'm curious to what degree referees take the history of two teams into account in how they call a game. When there is a lot of tension and aggression, and a history of dirty play either between two teams, or from at least one of them, don't the referees pay attention? More specifically, especially given the coach comments out of MSU calling for "60 minutes of unnecessary roughness," I could see next year's game between MSU and Michigan called much more tightly. I'd imagine that behind closed doors, several refs are hearing about their failure to eject Gholston or to keep an eye out for what happened.
I don't know whether Gholston, Worthy, or Rush will be playing for MSU next year. However, if they are still on the team, isn't it possible that the officiating crew will be instructed to keep a close eye on them and not to let the game get out of hand?
If that were the case, I could see an automatic ejection from the game for a punch, or helmet twist, or arm bar, etc., in addition to a 15 yard personal foul penalty and automatic first down. If they lose too many players that way, it is Sparty being Sparty, helping Michigan to win the game and calling Dantonio to task for not better coaching and policing his own team.
I'd like to hear from a ref or two on this.