Michigan State is conducting an internal review of a possible sportslike conduct violation by defensive end William Gholston in Saturday's win against Michigan.
Athletic director Mark Hollis released a statement Tuesday saying the Big Ten has notified Michigan State of a possible violation. The school is in the process of conducting its own review, which, according to the Big Ten Handbook, but be completed by Wednesday.
"We are thoroughly reviewing the entire game and utilizing all of the available resources: coaches' video from midfield and end zone cameras, TV copy as well as still photographs," Hollis' statement reads. "Once the internal review is completed, we will forward a written report on to the Big Ten."
If Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany doesn't agree with Michigan State's findings or potential penalties, he has three business days to reply to the school with a decision. While the process could go beyond Saturday's game between Michigan State-Wisconsin, it would be very surprising if Delany doesn't act quickly.
The Big Ten in 2009 imposed three one-game suspensions for sportslike conduct violations, typically on the Friday before games. Two of these suspensions -- Michigan LB Jonas Mouton and Purdue OL Zach Reckman -- stemmed from incidents after a play, while the other was imposed for a helmet-to-helmet hit by Ohio State S Kurt Coleman.
Earlier this month, Illinois suspended LB Jonathan Brown for a game for striking a Northwestern player in the groin. The Big Ten supported the decision.
Gholston is listed as a starter on Michigan State's depth chart for the Wisconsin game. Coach Mark Dantonio declined to comment on Gholston, citing the ongoing review by the school and the Big Ten. Dantonio said his team doesn't play dirty football.
Although Hollis didn't name Gholston in his statement or indicate how Michigan State will act, he did state, "This is an isolated incident and Coach D and his staff will continue to emphasize the importance of maintaining one's composure during the heat of the moment."
Rarely do these incidents result in no discipline, so it's likely there will be some action taken by Michigan State or the Big Ten. While the process could carry on for a few more days, we'll probably have a resolution before the Wisconsin game.
One thing for MSU to consider: while the Wisconsin game is big, next week's game at Nebraska is arguably bigger as it takes place within the Legends division and on the road. You can make a case that if Gholston is to be suspended, Michigan State would benefit more from having him against the Huskers.