The Big Ten announced on Wednesday that it has suspended Purdue offensive lineman Zach Reckman for one game as a result of a cheap shot following the final play of the Boilermakers' loss to Northern Illinois on Saturday, making it the second consecutive week that the conference has handed down a suspension for on-field misconduct.
The conference issued the following statement:
The Big Ten Conference office announced that it will impose a one-game suspension on Purdue University football student-athlete Zach Reckman for violating the Big Ten Sportslike Conduct Agreement during Purdue's game against Northern Illinois on Sept. 19, 2009.Reckman delivered a nasty hit on Northern Illinois's Sean Progar after the final play of the Boilermakers' loss, when Progar recovered a Purdue fumble and slid to the ground in front of Reckman. With Progar was already down, Reckman jumped on top of him -- and hit Progar's ribs with his right hand for good measure.
The Big Ten determined that Reckman's actions at the end of the Northern Illinois contest violated Big Ten Conference Agreement 10.01.1.A.1 – "Striking or attempting to strike or otherwise physically abusing an official, opposing coach, spectator or athlete." The conference office also publicly reprimanded Reckman for his actions.
"We appreciate Purdue's and head coach Danny Hope's attention to this issue and feel a one-game suspension is appropriate," Commissioner James E. Delany said. "The behavior of Zach Reckman at the end of the Northern Illinois game is unacceptable and could have triggered a larger incident."
The Big Ten Conference considers this matter concluded and will have no further comment.
The Big Ten is clearly trying to send a message that it won't tolerate cheap shots on the field. Last week the conference suspended Michigan's Jonas Mouton for punching a Notre Dame player after a play.