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Big Ten slaps Gholston with one-game suspension

William Gholston

Ahead of their huge Big Ten matchup with Wisconsin, and as expected, Michigan State has learned it will be without one of its top defensive players for the game.

In a release, the Big Ten announced that it — not the school, incidentally — has suspended defensive lineman William Gholston for one game based on his actions during the win over Michigan.  Why head coach Mark Dantonio or the athletic department didn’t pull a Miami and preemptively suspend Gholston for throwing a punch at a UM offensive lineman — or for violently twisting the facemask of a prone Denard Robinson — instead of forcing the conference to intercede remains unclear.

Officially, Gholston will be suspended “for violating the Big Ten Sportslike Conduct Agreement during Michigan State’s game against Michigan on Oct. 15, 2011.”  Here’s a portion of the conference’s release:

The Big Ten determined that Gholston’s actions at the end of the third quarter of the Michigan 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 Gholston for his actions.

The Big Ten Sportslike Conduct Agreement states that “It shall be the responsibility of each member university to ensure that all of its students and all individuals employed by or directly associated with it comport themselves in a sportslike manner when representing their university, especially at intercollegiate athletic contests.”

While MSU’s athletic director said that his university is accountable and “takes a great deal of pride in vigorously promoting positive sportsmanship”, he also intimated that the player on the receiving end of Gholston’s right-hand cross should shoulder some of the responsibility for what led to the incident.

“Make no mistake; there is no place for a thrown punch in a football game,” Mark Hollis said in a statement. “At the same time, it was important to get beyond the two-second video clip. It is critical that we strive to reduce and eliminate the sporadic incidents that detract from the game. In order to do that, we all must understand, be accountable and manage the environment to reduce these types of reactions.”

The loss of Gholston could have a significant impact on a showdown rife with Big Ten implications.  Gholston is currently second on the Spartans in tackles for loss with seven, and is second among defensive linemen in tackles.  Sophomore Denzel Drone is listed as Gholston’s backup on MSU’s latest depth chart.

Gholston himself took the tack of his athletic director, attempting to shift some of the blame toward the UM lineman.

“I deeply regret momentarily losing my composure late in the third quarter of last Saturday’s game against Michigan,” Gholston said in his statement. “Although provoked, my response was inappropriate. Coach (Mark) Dantonio regularly reminds us that actions have consequences, and I will be better prepared to handle these circumstances in the future. I look forward to my reinstatement.”

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36 Responses to “Big Ten slaps Gholston with one-game suspension”
  1. deadeye says: Oct 20, 2011 3:27 PM

    Will the suspension negatively impact how much he’s being paid?

  2. escoboltsfan says: Oct 20, 2011 3:35 PM

    yeah, why don’t they just fine him?

  3. southernpatriots says: Oct 20, 2011 3:39 PM

    JT: Thank you for pointing out the the Michigan State coach DID NOT pre-empt the Big 10 by suspending Gholston.

    One game suspension for intentionally and violently wrenching Denards Robinson’s facemask and head sharply to the left, possibly breaking his neck, and intentionally punching Taylor Lewan in the same game? Shouldn’t there be at least one game for each incidence of blatant illegal violence? What if Denard’s neck was broken? What if Taylor was permanently injured?

  4. plundergrunge says: Oct 20, 2011 3:42 PM

    More of a ‘love tap’ than an actual slap.

  5. thefoodrapist says: Oct 20, 2011 3:47 PM

    what’s wrong with hitting a scUM player — this guy should be given some kind of recognition award from the college football community

  6. bayeres says: Oct 20, 2011 4:06 PM

    To be fair D’Antonio was still reviewing the tape – had they simply been given enough time – after they played #4 Wisconsin and #13 Nebraska – Golston was going to be in SERIOUS trouble for the game vs Minnesota.

  7. paulbrownsrevenge says: Oct 20, 2011 4:09 PM

    No way LSU guys miss Bama game for smoking weed.

  8. noaxetogrind says: Oct 20, 2011 4:19 PM

    paulbrown, please seek immediate therapy for your severe case of conference inferiority complex or perhaps more appropriately labled peni_ (or in this case “conference”) envy. It would be one thing if you were constatnly on here touting the Big Ten. That would be cool. However you devote your energy to constantly downgrading anything SEC. Sad commentary on your approach life.

  9. rowbear says: Oct 20, 2011 4:44 PM

    I agree with @southernpatriots. This should be at least a 2 game suspension. The school should have suspended him for one game at the beginning of the week.

    Was he even kicked out of the game against UM?

  10. row60 says: Oct 20, 2011 5:00 PM

    Couldn’t the B1G just send him directly to the NFL so he could disappear like his cousin Vernon?

  11. barnesaintnoble says: Oct 20, 2011 5:21 PM

    Probably should have been two games, but it’s okay. The real punishment will come on Saturday night when MSU is dominated and embarrassed in their own house on a nationally televised, prime-time game. MSU has a good defense, but Wisconsin is on a completely different level offensively.

  12. tomosbornesretirementcostjoepaatitle says: Oct 20, 2011 5:21 PM

    Very interesting comment foodrapist.

    Seems I recall you blasting the class of PSU fans, using the video of a Pitt student attacking a couple of OSU fans with a beer.

    Now, here you are glorifying illegal violence against a school you dislike.

    Seems to me that “class” is something that you define as being Buckeye only.

  13. harbourimages says: Oct 20, 2011 6:05 PM

    How can anyone with a login name of “Food Rapist” be taken seriously. Another cretin like Gholston. And yes, Dantonio SHOULD have done the right thing and suspected this goofball immediately. But then, there IS this team called Wisconsin coming ton town, so just as Dantoino’s buddy Tressel would have done, let’s just blame it on the “intensity” of the game. Yeah, right….

  14. mikebrownstepdown says: Oct 20, 2011 6:13 PM

    This guy is a POS, reminds me of Marcus Vick.

  15. steelersandladyboysfan says: Oct 20, 2011 6:21 PM

    Says a lot about Dantonio and his class, or lack thereof, that the Conference had to step in and do the right thing.

    Embarrassing situation for Sparty and their entire atheltic department.

  16. mdnittlion says: Oct 20, 2011 7:21 PM

    The Big Ten just applied the NFL rule about touching a QB in some way the commissioner didn’t like, so Big Jim just suspended the kid. It really is that simple.

  17. paulbrownsrevenge says: Oct 20, 2011 9:02 PM


    I made that comment because the SEC puts football ahead of everything else. Other conferences don’t do that. Other conferences tend to do the morally correct thing. Janoris Jenkins got booted for smoking dope, these guys play on a national contender, so they will only miss a game they should easily win.

    MSU suspends Gholston for the toughest game of the year.

  18. baboushka says: Oct 20, 2011 9:05 PM

    I have no idea how they gave that guy just a 2 game suspension. He violently punched one guy after a play. And almost broke another’s neck. Even worse, he was only inches or seconds from possibly killing or permanently incapcitating Denard Robinson. THe NCAA suspended Lagarrette Blount for the remainder of a season for doing much less.

    That guy should have been finished at MSU for the year. And it should have been called by the school President. Because he had similar dirty plays in 2 previous games. You can count on it that Roger Goodell will warn him sharply before joining the NFL. All he needs is a dope like Gholston breaking the neck of a premiere or any NFL QB.

  19. BadaBingBadaBama says: Oct 20, 2011 10:39 PM

    The Badgers catch a break – they will face a Michigan ST team at less that full power.

    I wish my team could play Wisconsin

  20. paulbrownsrevenge says: Oct 20, 2011 10:41 PM

    ^ what Gholston did was certainly wrong, but I’m not sure it’s worse than LaGarette Blount’s sucker punch after the game.

    Just watched a fan dressed as an official run on the field and cause a huge fight between teams. Hilarious.

  21. paulbrownsrevenge says: Oct 20, 2011 11:27 PM

    @ noaxetogrind.

    Read my post on the Notre Dame ACC story.

  22. paulbrownsrevenge says: Oct 20, 2011 11:48 PM

    Clearly the best football players aren’t good students. Most great football players are so good, because football is all they care about. Just like great students are often “book smart”, but can be criticized for not having common sense, or be comfortable in a work enviorment.

    With that being said, the SEC clearly is the best Football conference. Academic standards are lower to land top talent. Top talent doesn’t want to worry about making grades. So the SEC will continue do dominate on the field, but it’s players are just that and that only, players.

    It’s not every guy. I get that. The Tebow’s, Mannings, and David Pollacks will always be outnumbered by the Janoris Jenkins, Jordan Jefferson’s, and Janzen Jackson’s of the world in that conference. I’m not sure you can say that about other conferences. The SEC only had 2 AAU members prior to they’re addition of A&M. The BigTen only has one member who isn’t an AAU member.

  23. nosferatu1341 says: Oct 20, 2011 11:54 PM

    Punk coach, punk players and a punk a$$ program since that sorry coach arrived. Lest we forget he was the defensive coordinator at ohio state when their linebacker choked Wisconsin’s QB.

  24. alligatorsnapper says: Oct 21, 2011 4:48 AM

    @paul–we have read your drivel on CFT regularly. You snipe and gripe about the SEC. It’s poor graduation rate, its lack of every team not having AAU membership. It’s…..whatever criticism you can think of at the time. You are miserable and want to make others the way you are by your ever predictable criticims.

    The South has a historial reason for it challenges for graduation rates. Each SEC school, and others that serve the South are working on this and and seeing improvement. When athletes leave early to gain employment and later return to complete their degrees, it is not reflected in the graduation rate totals.

    You name yourself after a legendary coach whose teams have been pitiful for years. You reflect them. Maybe you can brag about the graduation rates of Cleveland or Cinncinati and how they have these great players that never got into scapes with the law, because you sure can’t brag about their football accomplishments in decades.

    I work with Big 10 and Ivy League grads. None tout the Big 10 graduation rates in connection with football. None brag about their Ivy League educations. They are secure men and women. They have diplomas from Northwestern and other Big 10 schools who are AAU members but don’t go around bragging about their AAU membership. Some are Ivy League alums and several were athletes.

    I wouldn’t even know it if I had not conducted a little personal research after seeing their diplomas. When they talk football, they talk football and we all enjoy it. Almost all are Texas, LSU, and Alabama fans. When any topic comes up you are blasting the SEC. Change your alias to hatesecandwillletyouknowit and you will be much more accurate. I have never seen any poster receive consistently more negative thumbs than you and still post the drivel you do.

  25. hatesycophants says: Oct 21, 2011 10:41 AM

    Clearly Coach Dantanio has zero tolerance for this type of behavior.

    Go Badgers! Go Lions!

  26. ndnation23 says: Oct 21, 2011 12:44 PM

    what has been lost here is that the Michigan lineman was holding him down, by the back of the neck, well after the whistle had blown. Frankly, his reaction didnt surprise me, but the reactions of those after words has. I have no dog in this fight, lol I dislike both teams, however I am wondering why the Michigan player has escaped from this unscathed and looking like a victim when he clearly instigated it. Im not saying Gholstons reaction was proper, it wasnt, but to put it all on him is, well Lame.

  27. blueinok says: Oct 21, 2011 1:19 PM

    I deeply regret momentarily losing my composure. Sure, it was just momentarily, that’s why there was two incidents.

  28. Craig says: Oct 21, 2011 4:34 PM

    @ndnation23 Well after the whistle? You must have different film than the rest of us. I wouldn’t say he held his neck down, I’d say he was finishing a block.

    But even if what you say is right … it doesn’t explain Gholston’s 2 other incidents. 1 involved violently twisting the facemask of Denard Robinson well after the whistle.

    The 3rd involved a WWE-style arm bar that he pulled Lewan as well during UM’s 1st drive of the game. Lewan had to temporarily leave the field to get his elbow checked out.

    Gholston clearly had some aggression issues last Saturday.

    I must say in this whole mess, I’m upset with the B1G for only talking about “the punch”. The other two incidents were far worse when it comes to sportsmanship and intent to injur your opponent.

  29. paulbrownsrevenge says: Oct 21, 2011 11:54 PM

    Whats more pathetic is how many thumbs downs I can get from the same jobless losers who spend hours on here everyday. I noticed after my post a few days ago i had a few thumbs down, then in a matter of 2 hours i had about 50….. hmmmmm.

  30. paulbrownsrevenge says: Oct 21, 2011 11:57 PM

    I enjoy watching the level of play in the SEC, but the character of the players ruin it. most of them don’t make it pro, then it’s back to the hood.

  31. spartanspirit88 says: Oct 22, 2011 6:49 AM

    I like William Gholston. A lot. I didn’t see the supposed Robinson facemask foul, I’m sure that they will play it during the Wisconsin game.

    I think he plays a clean game, and when he has an inappropriate response, I like his apology.

    I saw coach Dantonio in his face after he hit the U-M offensive lineman, and he didn’t get all animated, defending himself, like some players might.

    I also look forward to his reinstatement. He is a joy to watch.

  32. tigersgeaux says: Oct 22, 2011 10:36 AM

    spartanspirit88: Gholston acted worse toward Denard and the offensive lineman than any SEC player has acted toward a rival opponent. Yet ihatesecandwilltellyou (also known as paulbrownsrevenge) calls SEC players thugs and worse. Gholston has done worse. He was the last one on the pile and he pilled on Denard intentionally, then grapped his face mask intentionally and wrenched it violently upward (to the left intentionally). If that is not the actions of a thug, what is? I ask you and I ask ihatesecandwilltellyou, also knows as paulbrowsrevenge.

    Here is the link to the attempt to break Denard’s neck…(if it doesn’t link just copy and paste)

    Gholston’s punch is also on You tube.

  33. spartanspirit88 says: Oct 22, 2011 6:43 PM

    tigersgeaux: attempt to break Denard’s neck? I am not a mind reader, but I have to believe that if he was trying to break Denard’s neck, he could have put more effort in than that.

  34. tigersgeaux says: Oct 22, 2011 7:02 PM

    spartanspirit88: You are defending Gholston, the ghoul? He intentionally and violently wrenched Denard’s helmet the left. That is not something done unintentionally from the position he was in. You are a partisan fan defending horrible behavior not once but twice on the part of Gholston in the game. Congratulations! You have won the award for the worst fan of the week!

    The Michigan State coaching staff ought to be proud of themselves, not even disciplining Gholston but letting the Big 10 do it. They had access to the same videos as posted on You Tube and more and yet approved of this mess? That is the act of a thug on video and you defend it as a fan and your coach does not meet out any discipline?

  35. spartanspirit88 says: Oct 22, 2011 7:05 PM

    tigersgeaux: I am not defending his actions, I am just noticing that your comments seem (more than) a little exaggerated.

  36. TJ says: Oct 27, 2011 3:20 AM

    Find it interesting that UM (clearly) fans complained about the MSU coaching staff not disciplining Gholston, yet who suspended Mouton when he punched the ND player last year? RR acted incredulous when asked if he would suspend him, and the conference was ultimately who punished him.

    Additionally, it is HILARIOUS that MSU went and beat Wisconsin on national TV without a single penalty…haha…what a thug program they must have!!

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