First message board post, I don't know if this is worthy or not, but Rittenberg recently answered my question in chat.
Me: Has the Big Ten always handed out suspensions? Or if this is the first year, do you know why they started?
Adam Rittenberg: I talked to Jim Delany the night after the LeGarrette Blount punch, and it was clear that what happened in Boise got the attention of everyone in college football. Sportsmanship and conduct are major points of emphasis, and you're seeing it play out with these suspensions. What seems a little different is the Big Ten is coming down harder than the teams are. Michigan wasn't even going to suspend Jonas Mouton. Purdue was going to suspend Zach Reckman for a quarter. The Big Ten suspended both for a full game.