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October 17, 2011

Still waiting on Gholston

Scott Chipman, the Big Ten's assistant commissioner for communications, won't speak on specific cases but he did point me to Agreement 10 in the Big Ten rulebook:

    Acts of unsportslike conduct shall include, but not be limited to the following:
    1. Striking or attempting to strike or otherwise physically abusing an official, opposing coach, spectator or athlete. Any person committing such an act shall be subject to the following penalties:
    a. First offense: A public reprimand and suspension for up to 50%
of the scheduled contests in the sport as deemed appropriate.

    So a suspension isn't mandatory in this case, but there is precedent. U-M's Jonas Mouton was suspended one game two seasons ago after he punched Notre Dame's Eric Olsen. The suspension was announced six days after the Notre Dame game.

    After the Big Ten alerts a school to an issue, the school has three business days to submit a report, Chipman said. Then the league will rule within three business days. There's also an appeals process -- the school has three business days to appeal and the appeals process could take as many as five days. So this could take a while -- though I think we'll have a ruling before the Wisconsin game.

    And considering the attention this is getting and the footage of Gholston on two plays in the U-M game, I'm guessing he's suspended by the Big Ten for the Wisconsin game. There's a lot floating around about Taylor Lewan baiting Gholston (he definitely had his facemask prior to the strike), but the rule is clear on punching other players. Whether the Big Ten will look at the interaction of those two players throughout the game and judge differently based on that, I don't know. But Gholston's facemask twist on Denard Robinson -- a worse play in my mind -- probably won't help his case, either.

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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter
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