Timing on MSU suspensions

Submitted by Section 1 on October 18th, 2011 at 4:05 PM

First, some meta-stuff.

I realize there are a lot of threads on this topic.  Reflective of very large interest, they all get rather large and filled up in a short period of time.  So I am not particularly sorry about starting another one.

Second, for reasons that I'll get into, I think that there is some urgency with the issue of public pressure being exerted on Jim Delany, Bill Carollo and the B1G offices, to act on suspensions of William Gholston and Marcus Rush.

Developments of the last couple of hours are that Mark Hollis has issued a statement saying that MSU is looking into the matters:


And then Mark Dantonio did his usual Tuesday presser and said that they were, uh, looking into the matters:


The news on both of those fronts is that MSU did not use the day to preemptively suspend Gholston for one game (which, by any reasonable account is inevitable), which is something I feared.  I had a bad feeling, that a fast announcement of a one-game suspension of Gholston might end the entire matter, cutting off debate about additional games for a Gholston suspension, and a suspension of Marcus Rush as well.

Now, a new Spartan strategy may be emerging:  Delay.  Put off the Notice/Response/Appeal/Et cetera timeline until such time as they can string it out so that their starters on defense can all be available for Wisconsin, and maybe even foul things off until Sparty hosts Minnesota in 17 days.

Many of you will have seen Adam Rittenberg's online column about the B1G protocols for unsportslike behavior investigations. 


I confess, it threw me when I first read it.  Because I distinctly recall no such protocol when Jonas Mouton was suddenly and summarily suspended by the Conference, on a Thursday before a Saturday game.  Michigan did not appeal or object.  But I never thought that we could appeal or object.

Then it occurred to me; at the time of the Mouton supsension, the first of its kind that most of us could recall in the Conference, many of us (I know I did) commented that it was such a crappy ad hoc affair, that the Conference would have to set out some clear guidelines for future cases.  And in fact, I now think that the Conference Rules that Rittenberg pointed everybody to were rules that Delany cooked up in response to the observations about how irregular the Mouton suspension was.  That is, they post-date the Mouton suspension.

And they might now give Sparty a chance to delay and obfuscate things until Wisconsin and perhaps even Nebraska have passed.

Now this is even worse than an attempt by Dantonio to confine the damage to Gholston (and keep Marcus Rush on the field).  Dantonio and Hollis might be trying to foul off any player discipline to the week of Nebraska or even Minnesota.

This should only increase the public stink over this mess.  Call Jim Delany's office, and let him know about your concerns.

(847) 696-1010






October 18th, 2011 at 4:23 PM ^

if I'm wrong). First he tries to break someone's (Lewan's) arm. Then he deposits an uppercut to his chin (clearly HURTS, if you watch the replay). Then he tries to twist Denard's head off. If I'm not mistaken, he should be looking at punishment for all three offenses, going strictly by the book.

I won't be surprised by anything, including Gholston only facing punishment over one of the incidents, or Rush getting off without penalty. I noticed on an MSU board the claim that Roundtree had committed some kind of infraction, too; could be another mitigating factor.  

Red is Blue

October 18th, 2011 at 8:03 PM ^

If Roundtree committed some kind of non-inadvertent infraction with a possible outcome of injury (I have read something about a facemask pull, but didn't see the play) then the appropriate thing to do would be to suspend him as well.  At the end of the day, job one ought to be player safety and such behavior unnecessarily exposes players to risks beyond those that they are normally exposed to in the course of playing a violent contact sport within the rules.

Mama always said two wrongs don't make a right.  In this case, if two wrongs exist, the should not cancel each other out.

If in fact Roundtree did something, M should have already taken action.  That would only make the MSU thugs look worse.



October 18th, 2011 at 4:25 PM ^

Does anyone else think that his "thanking" Hoke for bringing Michigan back is actually more smug than Mike Hart's comments re: little brother?  After all, he did it to Hoke's face, and Hart was kinda egged on by the media to give that answer.  The difference here is that Hoke responded like an adult and Dantonio didn't, so the media hasn't made a big deal of this one.

Section 1

October 18th, 2011 at 4:42 PM ^

But if you look at Gholston's postgame interview in which he was asked about it (and on the tv broadcast there is a tiny moment of video showing it), Gholston sounds more like a suspect in an episode of "C.O.P.S." than a Big Ten athlete.  It is one of the wierdest things you'll ever see.  Naturally as always, all suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

turd ferguson

October 18th, 2011 at 4:50 PM ^

Hoke is probably too classy for us ever to find out, but there has to be more to that story. Gholston's story makes no sense, especially since Hoke was in San Diego during Gholston's recruitment, so there's no reason to believe that they had a preexisting relationship.

Red is Blue

October 18th, 2011 at 8:07 PM ^

Pretty sure that when asked about it, Hoke said something like he couldn't remember what Gholston said.  Obviously, that could mean a lot of different things.  From Hoke's comment, I infer that Gholston didn't actually say that, but Hoke wasn't about to engage in Dantonio-esque media shots at a player from another team.


October 18th, 2011 at 4:28 PM ^

I doubt we'll see Rush suspended. Those kinds of personal fouls are fairly frequent and I've never seen a player suspended for throwing a QB to the ground. 

Both Gholston plays clearly warranted suspensions, especially if you consider other recent suspensions. The question with Gholston is not whether he will get suspended (I'm 99% sure he will), but for how long. 

Section 1

October 18th, 2011 at 5:11 PM ^

Have you seen this video?  I don't know about you, but what I see is an obvious personal foul.  I see an intent to injure the QB, insofar as Rush doesn't merely throw him to the ground (the ball is long gone and he knows it), but he grabs Denard, throws him down and dives on top of him.

This is the sort of play that will easily, clearly and obviously earn a fine and a suspension in the NFL.  Should the NCAA and the Big Ten be somehow less protective of quarterbacks?





October 18th, 2011 at 10:23 PM ^

Charles Martin v. Jim McMahon in 1986. Play was over, Martin with a body slam, suspended for rest of year, IIRC.
<br>Two differences...this was during an interception return, not just after a throw, And McMahon's season was ended by the injury.
<br>But, the pimp hand of justice was served post body slam.


October 18th, 2011 at 8:00 PM ^

I posted this later in this thread, but wated to respond to Section 1, as he has the actual video linked in his post.

DON'T look past the initial, blatant "strike" on Denard by Rush!

He open handed karate chopped Denard's neck with BOTH hands as he was coming down upon Denard. After the CHOPS, he then grabbed Denard as an afterthought and threw him down.

I believe he was trying to break Denard's collarbones with the initial strike(s) to the neck, and then wrapped him up and tossed him aside to cover up the CHOPS!

Furious if this goes unpunished by the Big10.  


October 18th, 2011 at 4:30 PM ^

Deny, delay, obfuscate, hope there is another scandal to save you and try to slip under the radar.

Now, everybody will do this, because the NCAA can't/ won't enforce rules.


October 18th, 2011 at 4:31 PM ^

I did the typical "shock/horror/children/protecting athletes" thing.


The National Collegiate Athletic Association

700 W. Washington Street

P.O. Box 6222

Indianapolis, Indiana 46206-6222

Phone: 317/917-6222

Fax: 317/917-6888


I can't find the Big Ten's address.


October 19th, 2011 at 10:39 AM ^

...and for the record, I kind of agree that they should have taken action re: Mouton. It's not as egregious as what we saw this past Saturday, but still doesn't belong in the game.

I should have asked: why did the Big Ten unilaterally rush to judgement on Mouton, given that it was a non-conference game?

And, the follow-up question: since the Big Ten is so quick to judge their own in non-conference situations, why haven't we heard anything from Delany in this in-conference situation?


October 19th, 2011 at 10:57 AM ^

I'm almost certain that after the Mouton incident the Big Ten put into place new procedures for dealing with these incidents. First the Big Ten has to notify a team of "unsportslike or possible unsportslike conduct" by one its players. That team then has three business days to issue a response. The Big Ten then has three business days to make a decision, but it should be noted that they don't have to take the full three days. The team then has three business days to file an appeal. This is according to a Kyle Meinke article at annarbor.com. These procedures weren't in place at the time of the Mouton incident.

It's also worth noting that the Mouton suspension was handed down on the Thursday following the game. MSU has to submit their response to the Big Ten by Friday at the latest (it's unclear when the Big Ten notified MSU--it could have been Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday). So you're not going to hear anything from the Big Ten until MSU gets their three days to respond. I'd expect a quick decision from the Big Ten after that, so it's possible the Big Ten will still hand down a suspension this week (if MSU decides not to do so itself).

Kilgore Trout

October 18th, 2011 at 4:51 PM ^

Not worthy of its own thread, but I've seen MSU types saying that the Big Ten should look into Roundtree trying to "decapitate" someone in the game Saturday.  Anyone have video of that? 


October 18th, 2011 at 6:08 PM ^

...this one:


...which, while unfriendly and an uncalled personal foul, is the kind that is ordinary to football and not an intent to injure well outside the acts of blocking or tackling. I think Rush is in this same category - there is however nothing about this which is similar to Gholston.

double blue

October 18th, 2011 at 6:08 PM ^

No I hadn't heard this. Would love to see proof. And if it's true suspend him. Actually we could suspend him before sporty suspends gholston. We could suspend him for this Saturday..... Oh that's a bye- that would be so dantonioish.


October 18th, 2011 at 5:18 PM ^

Gholson wasn't mentioned once, and the hardest question asked which was even tangentially related was one of those "how do you feel that people call you dirty" uber-softballs.  And this was after rumors that the presser would involve an announcement of Gholson's suspension.  Disciplinarian Dantonio at work again, I guess.


October 18th, 2011 at 5:26 PM ^

Dantonio said today his staff does not coach any players to play dirty, but Narduzzi said post-game that he instructed his players to exhibit "unnecessary roughness" for 60 minutes. 


Isn't the fact that a given play/hit/tackle is unnecessary mean that it's also dirty?   


The sad thing is I'm not at all surprised to see this contradiction from Dantonio's crew of thugs.  Their thuggery is another reason why Michigan needs to put sparty in its place starting next year and going forward. 

Red is Blue

October 18th, 2011 at 8:22 PM ^

Isn't the fact that a given play/hit/tackle is unnecessary mean that it's also dirty?


NO.  To me, it is perfectly acceptable to light someone up with a good clean hard tackle even if you could have just pushed them down.  By the above standard, a pancake block, would more than likely be "dirty".


October 18th, 2011 at 9:10 PM ^

This is assuming the block is necessary though (as in part of the play). If you were to pancake block someone fifteen seconds after the whistle, it's dirty because it's unnecessary.

The difference is one is attempting to keep a defender away from the ball, the other is only an attempt to rough up an opponent. A player shouldn't be penalized if, during the course of a play, the other guy can't stay on his feet. They should be penalized if it has nothing to do with the play.


October 18th, 2011 at 5:27 PM ^

Really, he needs a notice to begin an investigation?  He should have begun his investigation after the first punch.  If that didn't get his attention then the face mask should have.  And what of driving Denard to the ground in a way that nobody could interpret except as an intent to do bodily harm. 

If by chance he really believed that this was in the spirit of the game then the staff's comments afterward should have clarified that the spirit of the game for the Spartans was unnecessary roughness.

Hollis says they are looking at different camera angles.  I mean really, how many angles do you need to see what happened?  I hope that they get all that is coming to them in terms of editorials and condemnation.  More, I hope they understand, that this is why they will never be better than the University of Michigan.  They just can't.

Section 1

October 18th, 2011 at 5:40 PM ^

And one of the things I dislike about the (limited) attention that this is getting, is that it is often defined as a Gholston-story.

I really want to forcefully bring it around to Marcus Rush.  Suspending two defensive starters is a lot more meaningful.  It is a bigger story for GameDay next Saturday.  And it hurts their defense a lot more, with fewer places to hide lesser players on the two-deep.


October 18th, 2011 at 5:50 PM ^

As a singular event I'd probably agree, as the final straw in a string of plays that State was quick to endorse (wanting 60 minutes of unnecessary roughness) it's something different.


Edit:  In response to Rush's hit.


October 18th, 2011 at 7:35 PM ^

Rush went in with his arms up in an effort to block the pass. He knew the pass was gone. The blow to the head was reasonably inadvertent and relatively harmless, so we can dismiss that. (it would have drawn a fine in the NFL, though). The problem is that, even after the pass was gone, after the hit, he continued to wrap him up, plant, spin and throw Denard to the ground.
<br>Properly coached, that hit would have been the end of the play. Rush's continuation demonstrates his (or his coach's) willful intent to injure Denard.

biakabutuka ex…

October 18th, 2011 at 5:33 PM ^

This isn't a divorce proceeding. There's nothing to appeal, everything is on tape, and the Big Ten won't take long to reject their appeal. The only way this goes more than a week is if Delany wants it to, and I think as a conference commissioner he'd rather see the undefeated team win than MSU.


October 18th, 2011 at 7:40 PM ^

Delany is a useless piece of shit, and is laughably inept at making sense, let alone appropriately punishing players.  But as a conference head, he's got Wisconsin to think about more than MSU in this situation.  It's not fair (sometimes), but you are totally correct.

Two or three 11-1 teams is worth less than one 12-0 team in most situations if you are a power conference.