Michigan State's William Gholston Suspended For One Game

Michigan State defensive end William Gholston has been suspended by the Big Ten for one game for punching Taylor Lewan during last Saturday's matchup against Michigan.

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William Gholston Suspended For One Game By Big Ten

The Big Ten announced on Thursday that it will be suspending Michigan State's William Gholston for violating the Big Ten Sportslike Conduct Agreement during their game against Michigan on Oct. 15 At the end of the third quarter, Gholston twisted the helmet of Denard Robinson, and punched Taylor Lewan. The Big Ten cited a specific clause in the agreement that was violated in a press 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 team posted the press release, along with some comments on the incident and suspension on their own website:

MSU took this incident seriously, and this was reflected in my attempt to gather, understand and share with the Big Ten extensive information about what likely contributed to the incident. ... Make no mistake; there is no place for a thrown punch in a football game. 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. 

Emphasis mine. It sounds like the school is reprimanding Gholston, while at the same time expressing its dissatisfaction with Michigan and the way their players set the situation up. It's a worthy point: these things happen in football and much more should be looked at than the reaction of one player, but it's hard to argue that Gholston doesn't deserve the one-game suspension - there's just no way to get past having that kind of thing happen in a game.

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Big Ten Reportedly Notifies Michigan State Of 'Possible Sportsmanlike Violation'

Michigan State was supposed to address the situation with defensive end William Gholston on Tuesday, but so far nothing has been said. Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio declined to comment on Gholston until MSU's internal review is finished. Apparently Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis is going to release a statement, but it's unclear if that statement will include news about a suspension or not.

For now, all we know is that the Big Ten has let MSU know about a "possible sportsmanlike violation." According to Jeremy Sampson, Michigan State has three days to respond to it. This likely means MSU has time to conduct its own review and hand out its own punishment before the Big Ten steps in.

For what it's worth, Gholston is listed as a starter on this week's depth chart for Michigan State. Obviously that doesn't mean he will necessarily play, but it's an indication that no decision has been made by MSU just yet about discipline.

UPDATE: Below is the full text of Mark Hollis' statement on this issue (via Joe Rexrode).

"The Big Ten has notified Michigan State of a possible sportslike conduct violation. We are in the process of completing our internal review of the matter. We are thoroughly reviewing the entire game and utilizing all of the available resources: coaches' video from midfield and end zone cameras, TV copy as well as still photographs. Once the internal review is completed, we will forward a written report on to the Big Ten. The conference office won't discuss a timeline for this process and neither will we.

"We will follow the proper protocol for filing our complete report and not do it in a piecemeal manner through the media.

"As an institution, we work hard at promoting good sportsmanship and I'm sure many of you are familiar with our 'Raise Your Shield' campaign, encouraging our fans to honor and respect our opponents. I also know that Coach Dantonio and his staff work hard at promoting good sportsmanship. This is an isolated incident and Coach D and his staff will continue to emphasize the importance of maintaining one's composure during the heat of the moment.

"As an AD, I take sportsmanship seriously, but it's equally important for me to evaluate this game and the particular play in its totality."

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Michigan State Will Reportedly Address William Gholston Situation On Tuesday

The Big Ten was silent on Monday over questions about possible punishment for Michigan State defensive end William Gholston.

Questions about if he will be suspended have been asked since Saturday, when Gholston made headlines for two personal fouls in MSU's game against Michigan. After one play, Gholston twisted Denard Robinson's helmet, and on another, he punched Taylor Lewan. Many have called for at least a one-game suspension over the penalties, and the expectation has been for something to come out early this week considering the Big Ten has suspended players for similar incidents in the past.

What isn't yet clear is if Michigan State will dole out punishment to Gholston before the Big Ten has a chance to suspend him. It wouldn't look good from a PR standpoint if MSU did nothing to Gholston and the Big Ten had to suspend him, but right now all we know is this:

says they will address the Gholston situation on Tuesday at the press conference.

I can't imagine Michigan State would say it is going to address the situation and then later announce that no punishment will be handed out. My guess is MSU will announce that Gholston has been suspended for Saturday's Wisconsin game, and I would think that would satisfy the Big Ten.

If the Spartans decide not to punish Gholston, the Big Ten might consider giving him two games considering there were two incidents, so it's probably best for MSU to keep him out on Saturday and put this situation behind them.

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