November 2, 2010

Commentary: Cheap shot should land a suspension

Last Tuesday night, while Boise State had their hands full with Louisiana Tech, Tech tried an onside kick. A penalty flag was thrown on the play on Tech corner back Josh Victorian for offsides. Tech head coach Sonny Dykes did not seem to agree with this call and began "discussing" his disgrace with the officials. During that time, Dykes drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty which backed up the Bulldogs even further.

Tech kicker, Matt Nelson then kicked off from the 12 yard line. During the return, a Boise State player comes from behind Nelson and lays a vicious block on Nelson. That player was Boise State's Jason Robinson was the player with the hit.

Robinson, a senior from Los Angeles, Ca., plead guilty to misdemeanor battery following a bar fight in which Robinson broke another man's jaw. Boise State officials suspended Robinson for three games following the incident. Had Robinson been convicted of the felony he was initially charged with, he would have been ineligible for a scholarship. He was ordered to serve 180 days in jail and pay at least $29,000 in restitution. The judge later suspended 160 days of a sentence that allows him to serve on a county labor crew instead of jail. Robinson must also serve two years' probation and complete 200 hours of community service.

Last season, Tech safety Chad Boyd was given a two quarter suspension in a critical WAC game by commissioner Karl Benson following a hit he put on LSU wide receiver Terrance Toliver as he was trying to catch the ball. During the play, the Southeastern Conference officials did not penalize Boyd. The next week, Benson issued the two quarter suspension to Boyd. Robinson's actions seem much more flagrant than those of Boyd's, but Louisiana Tech is still awaiting word from the WAC on whether Robinson will be given any suspension.

Tech officials spoke with Benson and the WAC's Supervisor of Officials and a follow up was issued this morning to Benson. Tech still has not heard anything from Benson's office.

Update
It appears as if the WAC will not have any disciplinary action towards Robinson. In an email sent to a Tech fan asking about the suspension Benson stated, "Yes we have reviewed this play and while it was a "cheap" shot and a foul should have been called, it was a legal block as the Boise St player had his head in front of the La Tech player. There was a similar play in the New Mexico State at Idaho game on Oct. 23. We have sent video clips of both of these plays to all WAC coaches and have warned that any further plays of this type will result in suspensions." The question then goes to back to the Tech at LSU game last season. There was no penalty on the play yet Boyd was suspended for two quarters after the SEC supervisor of officials called Benson and asked him to take action.

Had the Louisiana Tech at Boise State game been an out of conference game or not against Benson's alma mater would it have made a difference?



 

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