How Much Punishment for a Punch? In College Football, No One Knows
On Saturday, Idaho linebacker Tre'Shawn Robinson was ejected for throwing a punch in a game against San Jose State. On Monday, Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson responded by reprimanding Robinson and warning that any future problems could result in a one-game suspension.
That's it? A reprimand and a warning that another punch could result in a one-game suspension? LeGarrette Blount would like to know why he didn't get off that easily.
Blount, as you'll recall, is the Oregon running back who was suspended for the entire season because he punched Boise State player Byron Hout after the season opener. Oregon has since backtracked and said Blount might be permitted to play late in the year, but he'll have missed, at minimum, half the season for his punch.
In between Robinson's reprimand and Blount's banishment was Michigan linebacker Jonas Mouton, who was suspended for one game after he punched a Notre Dame player last month.
So if you're a college football player and you punch an opponent, you can get reprimanded, or you can get suspended for a game, or you can get suspended for a season, depending on the whims of your coach and your conference commissioner.
I understand that there were different extenuating circumstances in the three different cases, but these very different punishments send the wrong message about how on-field misconduct will be handled. College football would be better off if the NCAA meted out punishment in such cases, and meted out punishment with some consistency.