In this week’s Dash, Pat Forde tackles Auburn’s emotionless sideline veteran, the great Heisman dilemma and also gives out his “Dashie” awards for this season.
Another article that criticizes the Big Ten’s handling of the brawl between Ohio State and Michigan. Forde is an excellent sports writer and one of my favorites.
LEGENDS, LEADERS, LUNATICS AND A LACK OF FORTITUDE
It was a chippy and at times downright disgraceful final Saturday of football in the Big Ten. The kickoff brawl between Ohio State (12) and Michigan (13) sullied a splendid, dramatic renewal of a great rivalry. And on Friday against Iowa, there was the in-game and post-game idiocy from Nebraska coach Bo Pelini (14), who in the face of adversity continues to show the composure of a rabid squirrel.
Then the administrators stepped in to minimize, enable and brush it all way.
Oh, there were more reprimands there: to Buckeyes starting offensive guard Marcus Hall (15) for throwing a punch and the OSU coaching staff for failing to get Hall out of the stadium before he went full-on wrestling heel. But in a decision that harkens back to the efforts of commissioner Jim Delany (16) to lobby for Terrelle Pryor & Co. to play for Ohio State in the 2011 Sugar Bowl after violating NCAA rules, Hall was not suspended.
Why? Because the Buckeyes are in position to play for the national title, but first must beat Michigan State and its No. 1 defense Saturday in the Big Ten championship game. And gentleman Jim wouldn’t want Ohio State at less than full strength for that game.
So Hall will play, despite coming off the bench to punch a Michigan player, slamming his helmet to the turf, kicking a bench and then firing twin-barreled obscene gestures at the Michigan Stadium stands on his way out. For a league that ranks among the national leaders (if not legends) in pious rhetoric about class and character, here was the unapologetic opposite in action.
And the Big Ten’s response, after Urban Meyer went Pontius Pilate, washed his hands and left it up to the league? Suit up, son. There are BCS checks to collect, and a reputation to salvage. A football reputation, that is.
In desperate pursuit of that, the Big Ten’s standards for acceptable behavior are clearly negotiable.
But seriously, can Jim Delany get fired? Who makes that decision? Can I start a petition? Actually, no, let him keep that job until I am done with college and work my way up in the system. I would LOVE to be the one that takes Delany’s job from him. BLAH! I would love to see Michigan State’s AD Mark Hollis replace Delany. But at the same time, I don’t want to lose him at MSU’s AD.