Big Ten: Sean Progar
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
The Big Ten has suspended its second football player in six days, providing more evidence of the league's hardline stance on player conduct this season.
Purdue offensive lineman Zach Reckman received a one-game suspension from the league for a late hit on Northern Illinois' Sean Progar last week at Ross-Ade Stadium. Reckman lowered his shoulder and speared a sliding Progar after Progar had secured a Purdue lateral attempt on the final play of Northern Illinois' 28-21 victory.
Reckman, the Boilermakers' starting left guard, will sit out Saturday's game against Notre Dame (ESPN, 8 p.m. ET). The Big Ten ruled that Reckman violated a league agreement prohibiting "striking or attempting to strike or otherwise physically abusing an official, opposing coach, spectator or athlete," and issued him a public reprimand.
“We appreciate Purdue’s and head coach Danny Hope’s attention to this issue and feel a one-game suspension is appropriate,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement. "The behavior of Zach Reckman at the end of the Northern Illinois game is unacceptable and could have triggered a larger incident."Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke contacted the Big Ten about the play Sunday after talking with Hope, and Hope decided to suspend Reckman for the first quarter of the Notre Dame game.
But the Big Ten went with a harsher penalty.
“We talked with our guys before the game about maintaining their composure, and Zach made a mistake,” Hope said in a statement released Thursday. “But I know Zach and firmly believe that he would not attempt anything of a malicious nature. Morgan and I agreed that a one-quarter suspension would be appropriate in this case, and that is what we presented to the Big Ten. They saw it differently, and we have to live with their decision.”Asked about the play on Sunday, Hope said he didn't think Reckman's play was "all that vicious."
"I don't think Zach Reckman should've jumped in there on that guy at the end of the play but maybe he was hoping the ball would come out," Hope said Sunday. "He was trying to find a way to win."
The Big Ten suspended Michigan linebacker Jonas Mouton for last week's game after he punched Notre Dame center Eric Olsen on Sept. 12. Like Reckman, Mouton didn't draw a penalty.
Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez, who wasn't going to suspend Mouton before the league stepped in, said he would be watching every Big Ten closely to find similar instances of non-football acts. Rodriguez said Monday that he had seen an example during last weekend's games but didn't specify the play.
Junior Justin Pierce is listed as Reckman's backup at left guard on Purdue's depth chart.
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Nevada 3 Louisiana-Lafayette 16 Final Utah State 21 UTEP 6 Final 22 Utah 45 Colorado State 10 Final Western Michigan 24 Air Force 38 Final South Alabama 28 Bowling Green 33
6:00 PM ET Marshall Northern Illinois 9:30 PM ET Navy San Diego State
12:00 PM ET Central Michigan Western Kentucky 8:00 PM ET Fresno State Rice
1:00 PM ET Illinois Louisiana Tech 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State