Today the Big Ten did what many expected it to do by suspending William Gholston for one game. The press release is here. My thoughts:
- Yes, Gholston's actions did merit a one game suspension. The Big Ten rules clearly state that "Striking or attempting to strike or otherwise physically abusing an official, opposing coach, spectator or athlete" merits sitting for a game, and that's what Gholston received. It doesn't matter whatever Taylor Lewan said or what he did, a punch is still against the rules, and a dirty act regardless.
- That said, I don't believe Gholston is a pathologically dirty player. These were isolated incidents where his emotions got the best of him, and he reacted rashly. This is the first incident of him being in trouble, and what pissed me off most of all this week was at least one national sports columnist calling him a "thug". I think most of us wouldn't want to be defined by the dumbest things we've done, and I hope Gholston's extended that courtesy in the future.
- I wish Mark Dantonio and Mark Hollis would've stepped in and given the suspension before the Big Ten had to. That said however, it's not unprecedented for the Big Ten, and not a school not to suspend a player that threw a punch in a game (see Jonas Mouton, 2009). MSU's decision not to suspend Gholston will only be magnified due to other off the field transgressions in past years, fair or not.
That's the last you'll hear me talk on this subject. Actual football talk tomorrow.