Big Ten Setting Annoying Precedent
Charlie Weis has to be smiling between bites these days. A couple of weeks ago the Irish coach added “punches thrown after plays” to his long list of complaints after a loss at Michigan. Following some YouTube spotshadowing and more whining from South Bend, Michigan linebacker Jonas Mouton was suspended by the Big Ten for one game.
This past Saturday Purdue lineman Zach Reckman received another one gamer for a cheap shot at the end of the Boilermakers’ loss against Northern Illinois. Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez didn’t do Purdue any favors by mentioning that the Big Ten better keep an eye on everyone in his press conference this week. Anyway, Reckman will miss Purdue’s game against none other than Charlie Weis’s Fighting Irish. Here’s the video.
Now, I’m not against suspending players for the cheap stuff. Both of these guys deserved some punishment for their actions. Rodriguez and Danny Hope should have been out in front of these, announcing anything from “we’ll handle it internally” to “he’s out for a quarter, a half, or a game.” However, this is not the job of the Big Ten and they are setting a precedent with these suspensions that will get them in trouble and annoy the hell out of fans in the future.
If only there was some kind of feature that would allow me to explain my displeasure in an organized fashion one by one. Bullets!
- Problemo uno is that Mouton’s suspension came down on Thursday afternoon and Reckman’s sometime on Wednesday. WTF Delaney? Michigan had no time to prepare for a missing defensive starter, as most teams restrict Fridays to walkthroughs. Purdue didn’t get much better notice, only getting one full day of practice for their backup.
- A off-shoot of uno is that most of these situations likely are brought to the Big Ten’s attention by opposing coaches. If you’re coaching against Ohio State and Terrelle Pryor pops a guy to defend Mike Vick’s honor, you better believe you’re sending that tape in as late as possible so they won’t be able to prepare.
- That leads in to the biggest problem of all. Coaches are going to comb the desert Spaceballs style for any evidence of foul play. Not in their own games, but in the games of their upcoming opponent. Then we’ll hear them mention it and complain in hopes that the Big Ten will bring the boom on some starter from their future opponent’s squad. If you think coaches won’t do this, you’re crazy. Any coach will do what it takes to give his team any competitive advantage. Plus, it’s not like they will be taking advantage of the system, this is essentially what the Big Ten is asking for.
- Finally, I can’t wait for a star to do something questionable the week before a big game. Evan Royster gives a stomp to an opponent the week before the OSU game, or heaven forbid Terrelle Pryor reverts to his high school basketball days and gets in a fight the week before that game. We’ll see if Delaney steps up when something like that happens, but hopefully the Big Ten realizes the overreaching arm of the law they’ve extended and stops.
Again, I’m not saying that players who dole out cheap shots shouldn’t be punished. Coaches should be responsible for suspensions though, with a failure to do so resulting in negative publicity for the school. Sure, that’s not much of a punishment, but it beats the alternative of Wednesday suspensions and whiny coaches looking to get college kids thrown out of games.