SEC should consider suspending Florida’s Spikes

Here's Brandon Spikes presumably flexing his finger before another eye-gouge.

This shouldn’t distract from the fact Georgia was outplayed and outclassed in every way in Jacksonville – nor from the fact that the Bulldogs committed four personal fouls themselves and have devolved into one of the nation’s most-penalized and least disciplined teams.

But SEC officials should look seriously at suspending Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes.

By now, you’ve probably heard about or seen video of Spikes’ attempted eye-gouging of Georgia running back Washaun Ealey in the third quarter of  Saturday’s game.

If not, here it is.

Take a look and then I’ll be back.

(UPDATE: The previous video has been removed by YouTube for copyright issues. This is another version — not as clear but clear enough.)

Pretty nasty, huh?

Now, I’m sure this sort of thing happens all the time at the bottom of the pile in the NFL. I’m guessing it also happens sometimes at the bottom of the pile in SEC games, particularly with players who project to the NFL (Spikes). But there really is no excuse for it.

Spikes might claim that his attack was retaliation for twice getting his helmet knocked off by Bulldogs players earlier in the game. But trying to jam one’s fingers into another guy’s eyes is WAY over the line.

So far, there has been no reaction from SEC officials. They tend to look at these things on Mondays, and I’m sure I was one of a hundred media members seeking a statement Sunday. The hope is that commissioner Mike Slive treats this at least as seriously as he does coaches who whine about officiating.

Florida coach Urban Meyer called Spikes a “very emotional player,” adding, “If that’s the case, I will have a very serious talk with him.”

Dogs coach Mark Richt said on his Sunday night conference call that he hadn’t seen the video: “I did have someone bring it to my attention that they thought that might have happened or whatever, but I don’t want to make any kind of comment on that particular incident.”

I’ll update this late if the SEC comes out with a statement.

What are fans in Jacksonville / North Florida saying? Check out the Florida Times-Union’s blog on Jacksonville.com

402 comments Add your comment

Suspend Him!

November 2nd, 2009
9:19 am

He should be suspended indefinitely! I am not even a UGA fan, but that’s inexcusable under any circumstances.

Jill

November 2nd, 2009
9:23 am

So will the SEC also suspend the player that spit in Spikes face prior to that?

TechBuzz

November 2nd, 2009
9:25 am

Georgia players hitting tebow late, trying to injure him—they should be suspended also, immediately, for the season. Ga has too many thugs who try to injure, not tackle.

it just went national

November 2nd, 2009
9:25 am

Mike Golic of Mike and MIke in the morning, just called this play by spikes the most “chickens**t play ever” He says the play is dirty and cowardly. Yes we are terrible this year but we arent classless losers like Brandon Spikes, he needs to be suspeneded for the year.

D-Man

November 2nd, 2009
9:27 am

NO excuse…just for the pure intention alone he should be suspended for the rest of the season. What price is he willing to pay for his OWN eyesight? The infraction is THAT SERIOUS.

Falc. exec.

November 2nd, 2009
9:27 am

Mike and Mike on ESPN..were just talking about this..They feel he should be suspended like the Oregon player. I agree…someone with that talent has no business doing something like this. It is classless.
I would bet my home that Urban will do nothing about this.
that being said congrats to Florida, one heck of a game.

it just went national

November 2nd, 2009
9:28 am

Yes Jill, spiting in someones face and someone trying to blind someone is the same thing. If someone spit in his face they should face some discipline, but trying to rake someones eyes is pathetic.

Doug the Jacket

November 2nd, 2009
9:28 am

I saw the play on during the TV replay on Saturday – and was surprised nothing was said by the announcers – it was so obvious, blatant and unnecessary. It reminds me of the Darwin Holt incident @ Alabama a long time ago. After reviewing the film, Florida should have immediately suspended him for the rest of the year.

Valdosta Dawg

November 2nd, 2009
9:30 am

Hey Jill here’s the thing, there is not video posted everywhere of the incident that you are talking about.

La Jolla Dawg

November 2nd, 2009
9:30 am

Where’s the video of the spitting, Jill?

FalconUGAFan

November 2nd, 2009
9:31 am

Any player from any team that participates in that type of activity should be punished. Doesn’t matter if it retaliation or not. Stop trying to paint Florida or UGA as thugs. This was an individual. If there were issues with UGA players in these type of activities, then suspend them too.

Jeff Schultz

November 2nd, 2009
9:32 am

First I heard about the spitting. If it happened — IF it happened — I say yes. But where’s the video?

Falc. exec — Hadn’t seen/heard Mike and Mike. But SEC doesn’t like national attn. like this so that could pressure them toward a suspension. Just speculation.

it just went national

November 2nd, 2009
9:35 am

Jeff,
I know hes a falcon exec and all, but how bout a little credit for posting about ESPN first? BTW im unemployed and every little credit helps my resume!

allvol

November 2nd, 2009
9:36 am

I’m a Tennessee fan and I think this is sickening. He needs to be suspended for trying to gouge his eyes. Let’s see how Slive handles this instead of just trying to muzzle coaches on bad calls.

Paul H

November 2nd, 2009
9:38 am

Florida fans will try to rationalize it, but there is no excuse for this conduct, period. If it were a UGA player doing the same thing, I’d be calling for the same punishment.

Jeff Schultz

November 2nd, 2009
9:39 am

Sorry. Let this be considered OFFICIAL CREDIT AND SHOUTOUT (woo-hoo!!!) to “It just went national” for alerting us that “Mike and Mike” referenced the Brandon Spikes eye-gouging incident. Also, if anybody can help him out, with a job or possibly a canned food drive, it would be appreciated.
(How’s that?)

Doyle, Winder

November 2nd, 2009
9:39 am

Hope you’re correct, Jeff. Golic just lost it on M & M…I’ve seen him upset before but never like this. There is just no way the SEC can brow beat it’s coaches for speaking the truth about the refs and then let this slide. No way!

JenniferGO Dawgs

November 2nd, 2009
9:41 am

OH Yeah Jill , Like spitting in someone’s face will blind them! Jill you need an education! A finger jabbing and grinding into an eye can and will cause blindness if not temporary , permanent serious injury! Just like a Gator! No Class!

john

November 2nd, 2009
9:41 am

Looks can be deceiving. Let me ask you this, why didn’t the rb act upset if this was so? If someone were “gouging” your eye you might be a little peeved. The rb in question was interviewed, no mention of eye gouging. No missing eyeball, no scratch marks, no “yeah uf won but that player spikes is a dirty player.” The eyes are not that far from the mask, spikes has long fingers, do you not think a guy who can bench 400 lbs couldn’t do major damage if he wanted to? What you have is circumstantial evidence and that is it. Yes, there are fans, media guys ect. who have convicted this player but no hard evidence to the fact. Did it look suspicious sure, but was it conclusive? No. I’m surprised no one has yet asked the rb what happened. I would at least like to here his version before a rush to judgement. Some of you can’t tell a nose scratch from a nose pick.

jacketbacker

November 2nd, 2009
9:44 am

Its football…man up!

Tech Tony

November 2nd, 2009
9:45 am

In talking of the incident, Mike Golic said he’d have rather been punched like Byron Hout was after the Boise St.-Oregon season opener than to be raked over like Ealey was by Brandon Spikes.

Maybe he thought he was a pro wrestler and subject to just a warning from the ref.

What Spikes did was as bad as the Ryan Reynolds choking of the Wisconsin QB a few years ago. Was Reynolds suspended? (I really don’t remember).

Gordon

November 2nd, 2009
9:45 am

Barnhart already wrote about this. Don’t you guys compare notes? I don’t disagree one bit with what you wrote, but should there be 2 articles about the same thing?

Whopper Dawg

November 2nd, 2009
9:45 am

As punishment, Spikes should have to wear a black helmet the rest of the year.

wayne

November 2nd, 2009
9:46 am

I’m also a Tennessee fan and if one of our players did that I would truly be disgusted. He could have ended the kids football career. Spikes should have to have to give a public apology and be suspended a couple of games. If the SEC office doesn’t do it then Meyer should. We’ll see what kind of character Slive and Myer has.

Chris Trudeau

November 2nd, 2009
9:46 am

oooohhhh look, Schultz speculating. The spitting, nor the eye gouge that cause Spikes to go out in the first quarter, nor the eye gouging that cause Tebow to have a saline cannon fired into his eye in the 3rd showed up on film and can’t be reviewed, but I saw Ealey’s post game comments to his hometown newspaper where he didn’t seem to make reference to it. http://savannahnow.com/sports/2009-11-01/ealey-takes-first-georgia-florida-game-stride Not sure I saw dr’s treating him on the sideline (like they were after Tebow and Spikes being on the receiving end)…my theory is that Spikes was warmly wiping the tears from his eyes….

Jacket fans, show jacketbacker the door

November 2nd, 2009
9:46 am

@jacketbacker Its clear you are clueless what it takes to be a man…

Tech Tony

November 2nd, 2009
9:46 am

What Spikes did was as bad as the time Ohio State LB Ryan Reynolds choked the Wisconsin QB in a nationally televised game a few years ago. I don’t recall if Reynolds was suspended.

Andy

November 2nd, 2009
9:47 am

I’m sure stuff like that goes on all the time underneath piles. The difference here is that there is unmistakable video evidence of it happening, and the SEC cannot look the other way or in any way appear to condone it, lest it lead to more of the same on the football field. The SEC’s hands are tied and they have to make an example of Spikes. It’s like getting a speeding ticket–everyone does it, but if you’re the one that gets caught, you still have to pay. At any rate, this was uncalled for by Spikes and if nothing else will hurt his draft position, as he may have anger management issues.

Chris Trudeau

November 2nd, 2009
9:47 am

oooohhhh look, Schultz speculating. The spitting, nor the eye gouge that caused Spikes to go out in the first quarter, nor the eye gouging that caused Tebow to have a saline cannon fired into his eye in the 3rd showed up on film and can’t be reviewed, but I saw Ealey’s post game comments to his hometown newspaper where he didn’t seem to make reference to it. http://savannahnow.com/sports/2009-11-01/ealey-takes-first-georgia-florida-game-stride Not sure I saw dr’s treating him on the sideline (like they were after Tebow and Spikes being on the receiving end)…my theory is that Spikes was warmly wiping the tears from his eyes….

it just went national

November 2nd, 2009
9:47 am

Thank you Jeff,

IM going back to eating my Ramen noodles with a sense of accomplishment!

Suspend Spikes!

Greg

November 2nd, 2009
9:48 am

Would you Sore losers Georga Fans would had said anything if you had won? Mark Bradley and rest of Journal losers need to step up and call the bull dogs what they are a bunch of under achievers. There no way in the state of Florida we would allow Journalist to be soft on a major program like Georga, set some standards. Go Gators

Whattheheck

November 2nd, 2009
9:48 am

Watched the tape on ESPN and this is not about Georgia or Florida, this is not about aggressive tackling. This is about extreme thugish behavior, he needs to be suspended by the SEC for at least 2 games, if not then what could you be suspended for? This is actually worse in my opinion than the Boise State incident and to be honest Florida should suspend him before the SEC does, while I dont think that is going to happen. Trust me if nothing is done then I would not want to be a Florida running back next year! This game has not been very competetive for a couple of years, but we tune in to watch the side show, which I believe will only get uglier if the coaches and the players dont get
there act together.

Doyle, Winder

November 2nd, 2009
9:48 am

MG, Gorden! Is that really all you got?

gatorman770

November 2nd, 2009
9:51 am

That game was one of the worst examples of unsportsman like unnecessary late hits and violence that I’ve every witnessed and UGA started it from the beginning of the game. It’s almost like the dawgs spent their whole week off practicing late hitting, going for the head,helmet take downs, and eye-gouging. Florida papers report at least three Gators were treated for eye-gouging injuries, including Spikes and Tebow. I’m not condoning Spike’s actions if that is indeed what he was doing, but the dawgs played with unsportsmanlike abandon from kickoff and the Gators had to respond.

Sim

November 2nd, 2009
9:51 am

First, its ‘move the game from jax’ and now its ’suspend Florida’s players.’ Hey Georgia, it appears you have found rock bottom.

Brian

November 2nd, 2009
9:54 am

The rest of the year?!?!?! Come on, folks! What Spikes did was despicable, but it is not a rest of the year offense. The guy from Oregon lost his mind and tried to go after fans up in the stands. He had to be restrained by security. Brandon Spikes had his hair pulled to the point that his helmet came off, had his helmet ripped off a second time, and then had a guy take a shot at his helmetless head. Florida’s defensive players were held on every play (including a headlock on Jermaine Cunningham on UGA’s first touchdown). Nick Williams took a ferocious cheap shot at Tim Tebow well after the handoff early in the game. Tebow was tackled by the facemask at least three times with no flags. Bush league play by UGA set the tone for this game. Spikes was stupid to react in the way that he did. He should sit, but it should be for one game and not the rest of the ssason.

Greg

November 2nd, 2009
9:54 am

All the late hiting Georgia did, spiting pulling off Spikes helment. This is why we have beaten these losers 18 out of 20, georga fans never give florda football any credit, still living H. Walker memory. News flesh he is getting ready for Social Security. Mark would be fired in the state of florida at any school.

Gordon

November 2nd, 2009
9:55 am

Winder,

What do you mean “is that all I got”? I said I agree – suspend him. But why put 2 stories that say the same thing side by side? Maybe Bradley should write a third piece about it.

David Granger

November 2nd, 2009
9:56 am

Oregon’s LeGarrette Blount was suspended for the year for punching a player who had just shoved him from behind, and at least Blount was man enough to be facing the guy when he punched him. Spikes went out of his way to reach down and gouge the eyes of a player who had just been tackled, with the whistle blown and play OVER. There is absolutely NOTHING Spikes could have been doing within the confines of the rules of football.
Coach Meyer should suspend him for the year, and if he does not…if he just gives him some BS “stern talking to” and only suspends him for the Vandy or the Florida International game…then Coach Meyer is not the man I give him credit for.
And Florida fans should be the ones taking the lead in this matter. UF is an outstanding university, and you’re BETTER than this.

La Jolla Dawg

November 2nd, 2009
9:59 am

gatorman770–”If that was indeed what he was doing?”! Really? I love the Florida fans trying to justify Spikes’ undeniably horrible behavior. He was caught–on tape–sticking his fingers into Ealey’s eyes. There is absolutely no way to justify his actions. And as much as you’d like it to, an eye-for-an-eye doesn’t work here folks. Spikes was caught being a punk and he needs to be punished for it. Has nothing to do with how poorly UGA played or whether or not the UGA players were playing rough as well. He. Was. Caught. Stop trying to justify his brutish behavior.

pottermb

November 2nd, 2009
9:59 am

Spikes is a thug and should sit for the rest of the year. I hope the NFL comish also saw the video so he can see what he will be dealing with next year. And of course the CBS announcers did not say a word about it becuase they were too busy praising ” Baby Jesus Tebow”

Larry

November 2nd, 2009
10:00 am

For all the gators who claim that their players were intentionally eye-gouged, post video. I did not see any intentional eye gouges as I watched the game at home. It also may have been accidental, which would be understandable. However, Spikes did it INTENTIONALLY, and he committed a criminal offense. Spikes will be watching the rest of the season from the locker room.

Jazzy

November 2nd, 2009
10:01 am

The SEC or NCAA better do it because you know Urban Cryer won’t do it. Urban would say that he is just making an aggressive football play and that his hand slipped!!!!

gatorman770's jean shorts are too tight

November 2nd, 2009
10:01 am

Gatorman,

Even a video would let you accept this? Are you serious? I hope someone tears Brandon Spikes eyes out and you justify it the same way, because of what he did, everyone will try to hurt him. Tim Tebow is an example of a player playing the right way, brandon spikes belongs on the longest yard team.

Charlie

November 2nd, 2009
10:01 am

Enter your comments here

Unfortunately we are seeing more and more of this type thug attitude in college football. The only way you are going to stop this type of play is to follow the example of the Oregon coach kick them off the team. While yes this is an emotionally played game. However to allow some player that appears to be attempting to put a players eye out goes way beyond emotion it is out and out thug act. That should result in his dismissal from the team. As a fan of Georgia I think the Georgia Football Program is a disgrace to find this team with one of the highest penalized teams in Division 1. Frankly the Georgia player who yanked Spikes helm off should have been kicked out of the game or least been pulled out and had his ass chewed out.

steve

November 2nd, 2009
10:01 am

If it was a UGA player, I would hope the SEC would suspend him. You don’t risk permanently putting someone’s eyes out – that is crazy. If I was Ealey, i would sue Spikes for future NFL profits, and press charges – the man needs to be arrested. And I hope UF fans feel the same way – crazy actions, Wow!

Iron Dawg

November 2nd, 2009
10:02 am

Coach UM really maned up when he said “if he did that I’ll talk to him.” Woah, really strong there coach – a talk for trying to blind someone! If any player, on any team, is caught doing this they should be kicked off the team for the rest of the year, including my beloved Dawgs. And any coach caught only “talking to” a player for such behavior should receive a severe fine – this is worse than questioning the refs. There is no, no excuse for this type of behavior but my guess is that Urban will do nothing as he is that type of person.

Crybabies

November 2nd, 2009
10:02 am

Here it comes…two AJC articles on this and now this will be the media’s obsession once again for the #1 team in the land…makes for a juicy story and drives interest/readers. I’m sure this will make Dog fans/rival lunatics and apologists feel better that they can take attention away from a pathetic performance on the field.

Why isn’t Ealey making a big deal out of this or UGA coaches/players? Probably because Spikes was reacting to something bush league Ealey did. Two sides to every story folks especially bitter rival fans with hate for all things UF. The dirty play of UGA should be the REAL story because their overhyped coach has got this team wound so tight they were interested in football just trying to take cheap shots against a vastly superior TEAM.

BG

November 2nd, 2009
10:03 am

Spikes is a dirty SOB. The SEC should suspend him today. What would happen if a GA player had done the same thing to Tebow??

CMR Wins the 2009 George Hamilton Cocoa Butter Open

November 2nd, 2009
10:03 am

Did he also pull a foreign object from his trunks?