Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/20/11

As many expected, sophomore defensive end William Gholston of the Michigan State Spartans has been suspended one game for his two personal fouls against the Michigan Wolverines. Officially, the suspension was for the punch he threw at offensive lineman Taylor Lewan, and is said to be for violating the Big Ten Sportslike Conduct Agreement. The suspension will come against, the Wisconsin Badgers, the Spartans toughest opponent so far this year.

The Big Ten decided to suspend Gholston for the punch he threw at offensive lineman Taylor Lewan, but the face mask twist of Denard Robinson was more than likely thought of when they were making this decision. The punch happened at the end of the third quarter and violated Big Ten Conference Agreement 10.01.1.A.1 – “Striking or attempting to strike or otherwise physically abusing an official, opposing coach, spectator or athlete.”

The Big Ten Sportslike Conduct Agreement goes on to say that “It shall be the responsibility of each member university to ensure that all of its students and all individuals employed by or directly associated with it comport themselves in a sportslike manner when representing their university, especially at intercollegiate athletic contests.”

“Michigan State University takes a great deal of pride in vigorously promoting positive sportsmanship,” Michigan State Athletics Director Mark Hollis said. “MSU took this incident seriously, and this was reflected in my attempt to gather, understand and share with the Big Ten extensive information about what likely contributed to the incident. As leaders, we need to ensure that our student-athletes are prepared for these moments and taught how to respond. As all observed, Coach (Mark) Dantonio and his staff reinforced this practice by immediately pulling him from the game and coaching him.”

Hollis hit it right on the head. These actions should not be tolerated, but Dantonio pulled Gholston from the game immediately, and the team was flagged 15 yards in a crucial juncture of the game; that should be punishment enough.

“We wanted the Big Ten to understand the totality of the situation and that this act does not reflect the culture and values of Spartan Football and Michigan State University,” Hollis Said. We are accountable for the incident and accept the prescribed penalty.”

The Spartans are accepting a one game suspension to one of their best players on the heels of facing their toughest opponent of the year. The team cannot and will not be reimbursed the 15 yard penalty that was assessed, so suspending a player with no history of misconduct just seems like punishing the Spartans twice.

“William Gholston is a tremendous and extremely caring young person,” MSU head football coach Mark Dantonio said. “In the heat of the moment, he momentarily lost his composure. Football is an emotional game of split-second reactions. It was an unfortunate incident. We look forward to his reinstatement.

GGholston has been a huge part of the Spartan's defensive success this season. (Photo by: Jon Coffey/isportsweb.com)

It’s great to see that Dantonio always has his players back. A lot of analysts and opposing fans may think that Dantonio sticking behind his players is wrong, but he knows his players better than anyone else.

“I deeply regret momentarily losing my composure late in the third quarter of last Saturday’s game against Michigan,” Gholston said. “Although provoked, my response was inappropriate. Coach Dantonio regularly reminds us that actions have consequences, and I will be better prepared to handle these circumstances in the future. I look forward to my reinstatement.”

Although Gholston seems to be taking it in stride, it has to pain the standout defensive end to know that he was not only charged with a 15-yard penalty for his actions, but he’ll also have to miss a game.  The second punishment of a one-game suspension against Wisconsin doesn’t seem right, but there’s nothing the Spartans can do about it except prepare for Wisconsin without Gholston and await his reinstatement for the Wisconsin game.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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