This college football season started off on the wrong foot, with Oregon stud RB LeGarret Blount knocking out a Boise State player after their loss in the season opener. To Oregon's (and head coach Chip Kelly's) credit, the Ducks suspended Blount for the remainder of the season after the vicious and uncalled for punch. Even though Blount may return to action this week, thus shortening his suspension into an 8 game suspension instead of 11 games, the Ducks undoubtedly did the right thing. There's no place in college football for cheap shots and foul play.
This past weekend, however, something worse than Blounts sucker punch happened. Against bitter rival Georgia, Linebacker Brandon Spikes of the Gators stuck his fingers through the face mask of Georgia RB Washaun Ealey, in a move that goes beyond the word classless.
Brandon Spikes Florida Gators eye gouge vs Georgia (via jmillerau)
So, what is head coach Urban Meyer's reaction? A swift and harsh HALF GAME SUSPENSION AGAINST VANDERBILT! This is one of the most disgusting and appalling things I have ever seen in my years of watching sports, maybe even in my 27 years of being alive. Intentionally trying to blind someone in a game is pure bush league, and not only should Spikes be out through the bowl season, he should be kept out until spring ball and only brought back to the team if he shows good behavior in everything that he does. There is absolutely and positively no place in college athletics for this kind of behavior - except at Florida, apparently.
Shame on the SEC as well. By agreeing to the half game suspension, you set a precedent that gauging someone's eyes out at the end of a play is OK and a half game "suspension" will do the trick. Urban Meyer and the SEC should be ashamed of themselves. If I was a Florida fan, I would be utterly disgusted. College athletics should be about more than winning, more than keeping your best players out on the field no matter what they do. You can still win with good morals and ethics. Maybe Urban should talk to Joe Paterno about doing things the right way. He could learn a thing or two.
What are your thoughts on that matter? Leave some comments and get the discussion going. I'd love to hear what you all think of this blasphemy.