Spikes will sit whole game. Will Meyer be joining him?

 

 

Normally on Thursdays we have Five Burning Questions. Today, we only have two:

 

1. Brandon Spikes will sit out the whole game against Vanderbilt. Will Urban Meyer be joining him?  Florida’s Spikes was suspended for trying to poke Georgia’s Washaun Ealey in the eye last Saturday in Jacksonville. Originally, coach Urban Meyer suspended Spikes for one half of the Vanderbilt game. After a national media backlash against the punishment as being inadequate, it was announced after practice on Wednesday that Spikes would sit the entire game. Spikes said he asked that his punishment be extended because he didn’t want to be a “distraction” to the team.

We’ll deal more with that decision in the next note. But here is what I want to know. Did Urban Meyer break the SEC commissioner’s rule on not publicly criticizing officials? If so, could he be sitting out the Vanderbilt game with Spikes?

On Wednesday’s SEC conference call the Florida head coach said he sent video of what he believed was a late hit on Tim Tebow (by Georgia’s Nick Williams) to the conference office. I didn’t get to see the video but I talked to some people who did.  Based on what those people told me, Meyer is right. Georgia Coach Mark Richt told the AJC yesterday that Williams should have been flagged on the hit.

When Meyer was asked about the play, Meyer said “I don’t want to step out of line on that.” Meyer said he had the utmost respect for SEC officials. But then he said this:

“That should have been a penalty, in my opinion,” Meyer said when asked about the hit. “Obviously, it should have been. You’ve got to protect quarterbacks. That’s the whole purpose. It’s right in front of the referee. I’m not sure how they’re going to handle that, but … that was one of the plays we did send in.”  

So, does that violate Commissioner Mike Slive’s edict?  Let’s just say it goes right up to the line. The SEC office said late Wednesday that Slive would review Meyer’s comments and make a decision whether or not the Florida coach actually crossed the line.

But remember this. Last week’s ruling by Slive was primarily put in place to keep coaches from questioning the integrity of the officials, not their judgment. It was because Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin used the phrase “and Florida and Alabama move on” suggesting that the officials were taking care of those two teams. That talk is what Slive’s rule is intended to address.

 But I could be wrong about this one. Slive may feel he has to do something because if Meyer gets away with it, the rest of the coaches will take their shots as well, which is what started this whole mess. We will watch and report.

 

2. What will be the fallout against Spikes, if any? It may have actually been Spikes’ idea to increase the suspension to a full game. After the incredible storm of bad press, somebody may have suggested to the kid that it was a pretty good idea.

 Whatever.

This whole circus should not have been necessary. I can’t say that Florida used the best PR judgment in its handling Spikes situation. What Florida didn’t seem to understand was that from a public perception standpoint, sitting the kid for only a half was almost worse than not suspending him at all.

Florida has gotten hammered in the media this week and most of the damage has been self inflicted. There is also the possibility that this will cost Spikes when it comes time for the media to pick all-conference and All-America teams. If it comes down to Spikes and somebody else for an award or honor, all some voters are going to remember his hand inside Washaun Ealey’s facemask. Is that fair? Probably not. But if you’re Florida—or any school–you just can’t make these kinds of decisions in a vacuum. I’m not saying that media reaction and public perception should dictate these kinds of decisions, but don’t you have to at least CONSIDER it?

Here is what should have happened. First, somebody at Florida needed to look Urban Meyer in the eye and say: “Coach, this isn’t right. It’s got to be for a full game. We’re going to get killed in the press.”  Then Brandon Spikes has to stand in front of the media in Gainesville and say just three sentences: “This is not who I am. I lost my temper in the heat of the game. I am sorry.” Then it’s over. You ask for forgiveness. It is given. Then Spikes, who has had an otherwise brilliant career and who I think is a good kid, doesn’t get defined by 20 seconds of video.

Florida made the classic political mistake. They took what could have been a one-day story and let it become a four-day story. Here it is Thursday morning and we’re still talking about it.

Maybe Spikes mitigates the damage by this decision. But some damage has already been done. And the sad thing is it didn’t have to be this way.

 

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316 comments Add your comment

rtque

November 5th, 2009
6:56 am

What is the big deal about being first?

bhamwreck

November 5th, 2009
6:58 am

Darwin Holt vs Brandon Spikes:

1) Spikes COULD have ruined Ealey’s playing career. Holt DID ruin Chick Granning’s career when he sent him to the hospital during a dead ball in the Alabama Georgia Tech game in 1962 in Tuscaloosa when the ref wasn’t watching.

2) Urban Meyer probably didn’t direct Spikes to try to go after Ealey’s eyes whereas Bear Bryant did direct Holt to take Granning out of the game.

3) Idiots call up and make empty threats to boycott the SEC unless they do something about Spikes whereas Bobby Dodd actually changed the course of a program forever when he got Tech out of the SEC in part because he was disgusted with the leagues lack of disciplinary action on Bear Bryant for that incedent.

4) The Darwin Holt hit wasn’t caught on video.

Buzz29

November 5th, 2009
6:58 am

To hell with the SEC! First?

Gary

November 5th, 2009
7:06 am

Correct me if I am wrong but a quarterback that is running an option oriented offense is also a potential running back. Therefore he is going to be hit when he is handing ,pitching or keeping the ball on any given play. To disallow the defense to hit the qb in this instance allows the offense an unfair advantage. Maybe in order to protect the qb we should put a red jersey and flags on them,therefore barring any contact by the defense. C’mon this is football we are talking about. Water the game down and it will not be woorth watching. No one says anything when Tebow lowers his shoulder and attempts to run over the smaller dbs. Just food for thought.

nowhine

November 5th, 2009
7:13 am

Spikey probally said “If I can’t play whole Game I won’t play at all” bhamwreck one of many whiners

nowhine

November 5th, 2009
7:17 am

Sec should kicked out of ncaa. They would do better by them selves no other conference even comes colse to being talked about or viewed as much as the SEC never have!

m

November 5th, 2009
7:23 am

The entire sec is full of whiny, crybaby, fans, players.coaches…and sportswriters.

The sec is the weakest I have ever seen it in my lifetime. They are lucky we don’t have a playoff system because none of these weak sec teams, that are articially propped up by the polls, would go anywhere.

Gatorbait

November 5th, 2009
7:26 am

Tony it is the media like you who keep writing about this instead of UGA’s issues on the field and the Gators success on the field. Like the Ole Ball Coach used to say if they like you too much, they must be beating you. Well nobody is liking the gators, since nobody can beat them. Go Gators. Another BCS championship is on its way.

Nachos

November 5th, 2009
7:28 am

Tony Jabroni would you quit with the god dam UGA-Florida stuff? This is suppose to be a COLLEGE FOOTBALL blog. Not a UGA blog. Do you plan on discussing the LSU-Alabama game? FYI – Its a pretty big game.

Joey

November 5th, 2009
7:28 am

Nowhine, I would attempt to respond to your half-witted comment, but I have absolutely no idea what you’re trying to say. Graduate, much?

Even as a Florida fan, I think Meyer is trying to see what he can get away with. He knows he’s in the driver seat, he just wants to see if the SEC will push him off the side of the road for driving too fast. Does he have more balls than brains? Possibly. But I think his coaching staff can handle Vandy and I think he’s well aware of that.

As far as Spikes, I’m disappointed in the guy. He’s had a stand-up career and, until now, has been feared as a beast for his LEGAL play. I don’t think this play reflects his true character, I think he just got caught up in the moment and made a really, emphasis on really, stupid decision. Like Mr. Barnhart said, I hope this 20 second clip doesn’t define his career.

JB

November 5th, 2009
7:35 am

TB, spot on, per ususal.

The crazy thing is, they don’t even need the gouger for that game. Had it been a full game, to start, end of story. You are absolutely correct in that they blew it in many ways.

I also be more than a tad surprised if they suspend the sainted one. He did break the recently laid out rule but it won’t happen.

Sadly, it’s really starting to look like there are different sets of rules, for different teams, in the SEC.

HBTD!!!

Paul ( You doesn't have to call me Johnson}

November 5th, 2009
7:40 am

Ward, I’m worried about the Gators…..they are getting so much bad publicity lately.

Aw June, The Gators will be just fine as long as Mike Slive is there to protect them. He’s gonna make sure there is an SEC team in Pasadena.

The Southeastern Conference: 11 schools under NCAA investigation and Vanderbilt

JB

November 5th, 2009
7:53 am

I didn’t know UGA was under investigation? Is SC? Ol’ Miss? LSU? Wow!!!

Run along Paul.

HBTD!!!

leland

November 5th, 2009
7:59 am

Paul (You doesn’t have to call me Johnson.)–you can call me Ray, or you can call me Jay, but….

TommyJack

November 5th, 2009
8:00 am

Gators. Building championships one thug at a time.

Newnan Jacket

November 5th, 2009
8:03 am

m – You didn’t thank God and Greyhound! Are you OK?

Tony – You are wrong about what should have happened. Meyer should have looked at the play Sunday night, then given the punishment at that time. A good coach stands by the standards of the organization and does not let others dictate how discipline is handed down. The fact that he handled this in such a fashion is just weak.

Fire Truck

November 5th, 2009
8:03 am

This is all much to do about nothing. No pain no foul, but it did deserve a 15-yard penalty – nothing more. As far as Meyer is concerned, coaches are permitted to protest officiating but are not allowed to denegrate the officials publicly. Meyer did nothing wrong by stating that he thinks that there should have been a pernalty called on the Tebow late hit. Hell, Richt agrees. There is no story here.

OldricketyWreck

November 5th, 2009
8:04 am

Funny how the Nick Williams cheap shot on Tebow is garnering NO press. Flagrant late hit to a guy who just healed from a concussion?

Corrine Brown

November 5th, 2009
8:05 am

Did Spikes check with Timmy first to make sure its OK ?

Tom S

November 5th, 2009
8:08 am

Hey Tony –

Maybe you’ve not heard, but Georgia Tech, Atlanta’s home town team, is 8-1, 10th in BCS, and possibly headed to an ACC Championship and BCS game. Tech has a much better W-L record than UGa, and is ranked much higher. This is not the norm over the past few years, so you might need to re-think your priorities for coverage.

The team has a charismatic coach who publicly tells it like it is (compare to Mr. Richt). You might consider a column this year on Coach Johnson, or QB Nesbitt.

Tom
Harrisonburg, VA

JB

November 5th, 2009
8:10 am

Yeah there’s no difference between a late hit (happens 4 or 5 times a game) and eye goughing (never seen it on tape, ever)…

HBTD!!!

blazer

November 5th, 2009
8:13 am

give it up please!!!!!!!!!!wonder if it would been a big deal if ga. had won

ManUp

November 5th, 2009
8:13 am

This wouldn’t even be on anyones radar if these dogs hadn’t had the crap kicked out of them. The whole AJC Sports staff has been writing about this junk for almost a week.

Newnan Jacket

November 5th, 2009
8:15 am

bhamwreck – Let it go, man. That was almost 50 years ago! I’m a young’un (born 10 years after that game) so wasn’t around for Tech’s glory days. But I am grateful that Coach Dodd took us out of that midden heap. It cost the program a few years of mediocrity, but I’ll take that any day over the stuff I see in the SEC.

JB

November 5th, 2009
8:16 am

Yeah, again, cause eye gouging happens all of the time. It’s so mundane!!!

Does your same theory apply to the national press?

Might the ajc folk be covering it do to the fact that it happened to a local team? Perhaps that the gouger just annouced that the suspension would last the entire game?

Such brainiacs today. Sheeesh!

HBTD!!!!

gatorsam

November 5th, 2009
8:18 am

Yo! Tony! If pundits like you would shut up about the incident, the fallout would stop. You are spending too much time in New York!!

help, I live in Ga

November 5th, 2009
8:18 am

Not a word about the Georgia players comment that he shouldn’t be suspended. Tony, guys like you create the situation, then just listen to who ever supports your side. My gosh this incident is not even an incident and you find a way to keep it alive. Isn’t there anything good in college football to write about? C’mon Man!

gatorsam

November 5th, 2009
8:19 am

Yo! Tony! let’s put Meyer and Spikes in prison, and the Gators would still hammer your puppies!

EEJacket

November 5th, 2009
8:22 am

Dammit tony if you’re going to write all about the same SEC topic two days in a row at least make it about the dawgs. There’s enough hooplah over that Tebow boy to begin with the gaytors don’t need any more press……

Fat American

November 5th, 2009
8:22 am

Spikes should be banned from playing collegiately. He’s a better fit with the Ravens or Raiders

help, I live in Ga

November 5th, 2009
8:23 am

Tony, I have your show on my DVR and was going to watch it tonight. Never mind. I’m watching Greys Anatomy with my wife. Maybe they will have a controversial “no injury” to a football player. At least they will talk about football for a while.

bhamwreck

November 5th, 2009
8:24 am

Tony,
I wish I knew how to spell “incedent”.

Newnan Jacket

November 5th, 2009
8:25 am

Tom S – I’ve been thinking that as well. Lately, I’ve been of a mind that, to newspapers, Losers are much more interesting than Winners. Me, I’d rather involve myself in how a program builds itself up rather than this incessent rehashing of every action and reaction of a programs demise. Its a sad state we’re in, is it not?

Ole Ball Coach

November 5th, 2009
8:26 am

If they like you too much they must be beating you. Not too many people like the gators these days since nobody can beat them. Keep writing about us Tony. Keeps us motivated.

Gator Al

November 5th, 2009
8:26 am

Thank you Dogs for blowing this way out of proportion. Brandon is a stand up guy that gout caught up by the way your Dogs were cheap shotting the Gators. Get over it and get a real team.

m

November 5th, 2009
8:27 am

Thanks to Newnan Jacket for reminding me…..

Thanks to God and Greyhound (and DRAD), chan gomrer gailey is gone forever. You dawgs are already missing him. And any Tech fan that ever supported him or defended him in any way…you suck as bad as the dogs.

m

November 5th, 2009
8:28 am

Tony,

Thanks to God and Greyhound we don’t play William & Mary or any more teams grom the Colonial, they’re kicking our butts!

Ohio State fan

November 5th, 2009
8:29 am

So now Tony Barnhart and all of the AJC flunkies are on the University of Georgia’s payroll?

What a sad commentary on the state of sports media in the 21st century – no wonder the newspaper business will be a thing of the past in the not too distant future.

JB

November 5th, 2009
8:30 am

“Thank you Dogs for blowing this way out of proportion.”

Yeah Al, its us Dawgs that have blown this out of proportion. I gather you don’t read or watch anything national. For you to say that, it’s patently obvious.

More brainiacs!

HBTD!!!

Brad

November 5th, 2009
8:32 am

Tony…

I read your articles every week because I typically concur with your opinions and predictions. And before I say what I want to say, I think it’s only fair that I tell you that I am a Gator fan. However, I think you’re dead wrong about the media letting this go if Urban Meyer handles this situation the ‘right way.’ This is due in large part to the fact that once the suspension was handed down by UF, the SEC approved of the punishment’s severity. Moreover, the ‘victim’ in this case, Washaun Ealey, stated publicly that this wasn’t a big deal and he thought that Spikes shouldn’t even be suspended. But because of the unrelenting media backlash, Coach Meyer, Spikes, Charlie Strong, and Jeremy Foley all felt that something more had to be done in order to keep this from being an even bigger distraction. Why? Because you media types will not stop talking about it. This issue has had opportunities to go away, but people like Mike Golic, Jeff Schultz, and yourself are all standing on your moral high ground, spewing bitterness toward a UF program who proposed a punishment that was accepted by the authority (the SEC) to which they answer.

Steve Orl

November 5th, 2009
8:36 am

How do you or anyone know he wasn’t just playing with Ealey? He could have been messing with him saying I’m gonna get you freshman and stuck his fingers in there just messing with him. Ealey even said as much. You need the facts of what happened before going all emotional. Dawg nation have always been insecure emotional people. Guess it has to do with how long they’ve won it all.

Steve

November 5th, 2009
8:38 am

More crap and jealousy from the leg humping crotch sniffers. Get over it. GA sucks and Florida owns your butt. I love it. There was a reason that Ealey made the statement that he did. He spit on the guy. I would have punched his lights out. Dawgs SUCK.

Jeff Dahmer

November 5th, 2009
8:39 am

The SEC sure is one fine organization. Full of nothing but upstanding dignified men and women at all levels, from the wise commissioner to the refreshing scholar athletes. Any of them can sit at the head of my table any time.

merculf

November 5th, 2009
8:39 am

I’m an Auburn man so enough already! Is the kid blind in one eye now? NO. Was he hurt? No. Did he even complain about it when it happened to him? NO. It’s part of the game and has been going on for decades right or wrong. Let’s move on and talk about how LSU is going to beat Bama on this weekend! WDE!

JB

November 5th, 2009
8:39 am

Sticking ones fingers in another person eyes is, “messing with them”??? Wow!

HBTD!!!

gatorhater

November 5th, 2009
8:40 am

Lucky for FLA they had Vanderbilt next so they could impose a one game suspension. If Bama was next their hypocrisy would have been exposed even more.

Steve

November 5th, 2009
8:41 am

This is the Dawgs way of trying to take the spotlight off the fact that they suck. These so called reporters suck as bad.

Nate

November 5th, 2009
8:41 am

So you only look at video’s that affect Ga players? How could you not see that video? Isn’t it your job as Mr College football (joke) to have already looked at something like that? Isn’t that part of your job description? It’s like a stock broker commenting on a stocks move and saying well i didn’t even see what the dow and nasdaq did this week. Tony you’re becoming a joke. Move out of Ga and base your “operations” somewhere else to save any cred you have left.

Steve

November 5th, 2009
8:41 am

“Florida made the classic political mistake.”

Regardless of what Florida did, we would still be talking about this because tabloid hacks, and please include yourself mr. drama queen cfb, have their own prejudices and agendas.

Can’t wait to see your next article in the supermarket checkout line.

m

November 5th, 2009
8:43 am

To the m-poster at 8:28 AM…

Yeah…it is a lot more furn kicking the sec’s arse than losing to the Colonial.