Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/19/11

Everybody should be talking about the huge Big Ten showdown between the Michigan State Spartans and Wisconsin Badgers, but the main topic of discussion seems to be whether Spartan defensive end William Gholston will be suspended or not. Gholston twisted Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson’s facemask after a play was over, and threw what look to be a punch at Michigan offensive lineman Taylor Lewan in last week’s 28-14 victory over the Wolverines.

William Gholston Punch and Facemask

I understand that both incidents were unwarranted and should not have happened, but should this really even be an argument? Gholston in the heat of an emotional game committed a pair of penalties; Gholston was flagged for those penalties. Unless the Big Ten can figure out some way to give the Spartans two 15-yard penalties back there is no reason for further penalties. Even if Gholston was thrown out of the game I would understand, but the referees decided that the two 15-yard penalties, that could have cost his team greatly if the Wolverine’s capitalized, were punishment enough. If the NCCA is planning to suspend Gholston, what are they waiting for? I’m going to guess the Spartan coaching staff would want to know if one of their best players will be playing or not.

The punch is excusable, but the Robinson facemask incident was ugly. It isn’t something that should happen, but unfortunately, this type of thing happens in football all the time. Don’t like the sound of that? Sorry, that’s the way it is, and the way it will always be. This particular scene took place right in front of the camera, rather than in the middle of a pile, where the cameras can’t see. You can ask anybody who’s played football from the prep to the professional level, even Mr. Denard Robinson; this is what goes in a physical football game.

I’m sure Denard has had his dreads pulled at, and has taken a shot at the bottom of a pile. You’d like to see this stuff not happen, but unfortunately it’s the nature of the game. It would be great if this type of play was eliminated, but suspending Gholston will not make that happen. Players aren’t going to be thinking of Gholston when they’re at the bottom of a pile; it gets dirty in the trenches. I understand the NFL is certainly not the NCAA, but if this were the NFL there may be a small fine, but talks of a suspension would be shunned.

William Gholston does not have a history of dirty play or bad behavior. (Photo: The State News)

Mark Hollis, Michigan State’s athletic director, released a statement on the incident, while Coach Mark Dantonio refused to comment.

“We are in the process of completing our internal review of the matter,” Hollis said in a statement Tuesday according to ESPN’s official website. “We are thoroughly reviewing the entire game and utilizing all of the available resources: coaches’ video from midfield and end zone cameras, TV copy as well as still photographs. Once the internal review is completed, we will forward a written report on to the Big Ten. The conference office won’t discuss a timeline for this process and neither will we.”

Many may feel that Dantonio should take swift action on this. Gholston doesn’t have a history of any misconduct. I’m not with Gholston as much as Dantonio and the coaching staff are. Dantonio knows Gholston better than most, and it will be up to him to decide if this is an isolated incident where his emotions got the best of him, or something that could be reoccurring. Whether you like Dantonio’s decision or not, he’s better suited to make it.

I believe there will be a suspension. If it’s by the university it may be for a quarter or a half, and if it’s by the Big Ten I believe it will be for a game. Although, I don’t think there should be a suspension, I can understand the thinking either way, but after already receiving in-game penalties, it seems a bit redundant to punish Gholston and the Spartans twice.

William Gholston Post Game


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