The Big Ten has announced that Michigan linebacker Jonas Mouton will be suspended one game for punching Notre Dame center Eric Olsen on Saturday, taking a stand and disciplining one of its players after Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez failed to do so.
The punch took place during the second quarter of Michigan's victory over Notre Dame on Saturday, and was largely overlooked at the time. The officials didn't throw a flag, and the TV announcers didn't mention it. But on Sunday Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis complained that unspecified Michigan players threw punches on the field, and during the week reporters asked Rodriguez about Mouton's punch.
Surprisingly, Rodriguez claimed that he watched the tape and didn't see a punch, even though it's right there for all to see. But the Big Ten did see the punch, and on Friday conference released the following statement:
The Big Ten Conference office announced that it will impose a one-game suspension on University of Michigan football student-athlete Jonas Mouton for violating the Big Ten Sportslike Conduct Agreement during Michigan's game against Notre Dame on Sept. 12, 2009.Mouton, a junior from Los Angeles, is a starting linebacker and one of Michigan's top defensive players.
Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany has suspended Mouton for one game for striking an opposing student-athlete. In accordance with penalties established in Big Ten Conference Agreement 10.01.1.A.1, the conference office also publicly reprimands Mouton for his actions. The University of Michigan has accepted the suspension.
"The actions of Jonas Mouton during the Notre Dame game are unacceptable," Commissioner Delany said. "Mouton's behavior has no place in the sport of football or the Big Ten Conference."
The Big Ten Conference considers this matter concluded and will have no further comment.
Do you think Mouton deserved to be suspended? Tell me on Twitter @MichaelDavSmith.