Thursday, October 4, 2012
MSU's Allen won't face Big Ten discipline
By Adam Rittenberg
Michigan State offensive lineman Jack Allen won't face a suspension or any other disciplinary action from the Big Ten after the league reviewed tape of a possible eye-gouging incident in last week's Michigan State-Ohio State game.
Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis released a statement Thursday that the league determined Allen didn't violate its sportslike conduct policy. Allen appeared to reach inside the helmet of Ohio State defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, and Ohio State sent tape of the play for the Big Ten to review.
"As athletics director, I had an opportunity to be involved in this review process and while his actions ‘weren’t a football play,’ this clearly wasn't an eye-gouging incident," Hollis said in a prepared statement.
While Thursday's news might surprise some, the Big Ten typically doesn't take action unless a blatant sportslike conduct violation has occurred, such as Illinois' Jonathan Brown striking a Northwestern player in the groin after a play or Michigan State's William Gholston intentionally twisting the helmet of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.
Some saw last Saturday's incident as blatant eye-gouging, but Hankins didn't have any immediate complaint and several players had their hands in opposing players' facemasks after the play. I'm not saying the league should have or shouldn't have taken action, but the situation didn't appear to be as clear cut as, say, the Brown or Gholston incidents from 2011.