Arkansas’ Wade Suspended for South Carolina Game By SEC
Arkansas receiver Marquel Wade has been suspended by the SEC for Saturday's game against South Carolina for his vicious hit last Saturday on Vandy's punt returner.
According to the SEC sports release:
Wade’s action was in violation of NCAA Football Rule 6-4-1 for a flagrant violation of interfering with an opportunity to catch a kick and NCAA Football Rule 9-1-3 for targeting and initiating contact with an opponent using the crown of his helmet. The play occurred at the 9:32 mark of the third quarter.
This action is taken in accordance with Southeastern Conference Constitution, Article 4.4.2 (d), which states that a student-athlete may be suspended if it is determined that the student-athlete has committed a flagrant or unsportsmanlike act.
ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit weighed in saying Wade's suspension wasn't enough and that he wanted to see Coach Petrino make an example out of him.
Meanwhile, both Wade and his mother have sent the Vandy player, Jonathon Krause, apology letters via Facebook and Twitter.
It is what is. It happens. It is football, you know? - Jonathon Krause, Vanderbilt Punt Returner”
Wade had apologized publicly for the incident earlier in the week.
“I really want to apologize for any embarrassment I caused for the fans and this organization,” he said. “Any situation I get into or whatever is said, I have to take – what I did was wrong, but I thought he had the ball. I’ll just leave it at that.”
Enough of the apologies already. As the Vandy player said "It is football, you know?". People get hit. Yes, Wade should have been penalized for the hit. He should have had his head up and known where the ball was. No, Wade should not have been ejected and he surely shouldn't have been suspended for Saturdays game. In no way do I think that was anything other than a hustle penalty, where the guy just made a mistake trying to make a play. The coaches push these guys to go out there and give 100% all the time and sometimes it's hard for a player to pull up and a hit like this happens.
Now, I do have an issue with Wade's sideline behavior and the way he yelled at his coach going towards the locker room. But, I feel this is an issue that Petrino has dealt with behind the scenes.
The SEC has shown once again that they do NOT hand out discipline fairly. Don't get me wrong, I don't think this was an anti-Arkansas conspiracy, the SEC wanted to send a message and Arkansas just happened to be the school with a player who made such a hit. But, there have been FAR worse incidents where NO discipline was handed down by the SEC, such as the Florida player who was suspended by the school for ONE HALF because he tried to POKE SOMEONES EYE OUT. The SEC said the University's punishment was sufficient.
Sooo, according to the SEC... A gunner coming down and laying the wood on a punt returner is grounds for suspension, but trying to poke someone's eye out INTENTIONALLY is only worth half a game suspension. Yeah, that make sense.