Blog Entry

Illinois LB Brown suspended for knee to the groin

Posted on: October 3, 2011 2:20 pm
Edited on: October 3, 2011 2:25 pm

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Last Saturday, we lamented the fact that Illinois linebacker Jonathan Brown wasn't ejected for a blatant knee to the, shall we say, sensitive region of Northwestern lineman Patrick Ward late in the first half of what would eventually be a thrilling 38-35 victory for the Illini. Brown was at least given a personal foul penalty for that, the most personal of all fouls, and Northwestern would take the lead on the very next snap.

Still, Illinois coach Ron Zook and the Big Ten agreed that merely a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct wasn't quite sufficient, and for that Brown will not be participating in this week's game against Indiana. Here's the announcement from the Big Ten that went out Monday morning:

The Big Ten Conference office announced that it has accepted the one-game suspension of University of Illinois football student-athlete Jonathan Brown for violating the Big Ten Sportslike Conduct Agreement during the Northwestern game on Oct. 1, 2011.

University of Illinois head coach Ron Zook suspended Brown for the Oct. 8 game at Indiana for unsportslike behavior. In accordance with penalties established in Big Ten Conference Agreement 10.01.1.A.1, the conference office also publicly reprimands Brown 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.”

If anything, one game is too light of a suspension; watch the foul again, and you can see that this was a deliberate, unprovoked attack by Brown that took place outside of any in-game competition. The play was over, and Brown had no reason to so much as interact with Ward, much less make any contact with him, much much less knee him straight in the sacred area.

It'd be a two-game suspension and an unholy amount of extra sprints for Brown if I were coaching the Illini, but if the Big Ten accepts Illinois' suspension as it is, there's really not much issue to take with the punishment.


Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 18, 2011 10:24 pm

Illinois LB Brown suspended for knee to the groin

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Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: October 3, 2011 5:11 pm

Illinois LB Brown suspended for knee to the groin

Sorry Orange/Blue--there is just no way to condone what Brown did.  I might, MIGHT, give him some leeway if he was responding to something that had just happened, but that was not the case here.  Mr. Ward was just standing there, doing nothing, and Brown walked up and took a cowardly cheap shot to the groin (kneed him like a little girl -- if you really have a problem, act like a man and punch him and take the consequences).  He should have been ejected, and the suspension should probably be longer in my opinion.  Personally, I would also suspend the ref that saw it happen but did not eject Brown like he should have.

Since: Oct 3, 2011
Posted on: October 3, 2011 3:36 pm

Illinois LB Brown suspended for knee to the groin

While I do not condone Brown's behavior in any way shape or form and feel he should be suspended for his action, I also find it interesting that someone who wasn't at the game, as I assume you were not, Mr. Jacobi, can comment on the severity of the suspension.  There was a lot going on between Jonathan Brown and Patrick Ward throughout that entire game.  To characterize it as an unprovoked attack is correct in that particular instance and if you 'watch the foul again' that is what you will see.  But perhaps you might not think it so unprovoked had you witnessed the entire game.   I personally had commented on action (mostly after the plays)  between the two that took place long before that event and Mr. Ward was the perpetrator.  Does it excuse Mr. Brown's behavior?  Absolutely not!  And why was he not ejected from the game after the incident?  Perhaps the officials on the field had seen the same extra-curricular activity I had seen between the two young men.  We'll never know.  But I can also imagine that there will be a lot of extra paid for what he did when Coach Koenigs gets through with him.......

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