FanDuel - WFBC

November 02, 2009

Florida Linebacker Tried to Eye-Gouge Opponent: Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes has been suspended by the team -- but only for two quarters -- after being caught purposefully jamming his fingers through the facemask of Georgia running back Washaun Ealey on Saturday in an effort to gouge his eyes. "We're going to suspend Brandon for the first half of the Vanderbilt game," said head coach Urban Meyer. "I talked to him, that's not who he is. I love Brandon Spikes, the team does. We're going to move on. He has our full support."

posted by firecop to football at 06:48 PM - 35 comments

Cheap move by Spikes, and a pretty spineless punishment by Meyer. At the very least he should be suspended for an entire game, and I'd say more. They're playing Vanderbilt, so it's not like they desperately need him. (No offense to any Commodore fans.)

Something tells me the SEC will add to the punishment.

posted by TheQatarian at 08:13 PM on November 02

"that's not who he is. I love Brandon Spikes, the team does. We're going to move on. He has our full support."

I watched that video 5 times and there was nothing accidental about it, so Spikes is actually the dirty son of a bitch he is, not this docile gentle soul Meyer tries to make him out to be. I think the guy he gouged showed incredible restraint; I would have planted his cup up to his chin if it had been me.

Some responsible adult in that university's administration needs to step in, because Meyer is too wrapped up in his championship run to mete out the justice this despicable act deserves.

And Tebow's comment absolutely disgusts me. It appears that his bible thumping holier than thou act doesn't include dirty, cowardly attacks on opposing players by his team mates.

posted by irunfromclones at 08:28 PM on November 02

Meyer seems to have confused the attacker with the victim. Brandon Spikes does not need their "full support."

On local radio in Jacksonville they're saying that Ealey took some cheap shots at Gators during the game. That would not excuse Spikes, though.

posted by rcade at 08:50 PM on November 02

It's hard to tell whether Tebow was talking specifically about Spikes' actions in that comment, or just talking about a rough game in general. If he's talking about Spikes, that is uncharacteristic of him.

posted by rcade at 08:53 PM on November 02

Meyer seems to have confused the attacker with the victim. Brandon Spikes does not need their "full support."

I agree. I couldn't figure out what that meant. Would Meyer have been pushing Spikes' finger further into Ealey's eye if given the chance?

On local radio in Jacksonville they're saying that Ealey took some cheap shots at Gators during the game.

I'm assuming that with all the cameras surrounding the Gators, there would be video of that too no?

posted by BoKnows at 08:55 PM on November 02

What a shitty play. I hope the SEC throws the book at him. And it hits him in the eye.

posted by dfleming at 09:37 PM on November 02

I believe that Oregon did the right and just thing / immediate suspension - for the year for Blount for the suckerpunch. The fact that he has earned his way back after missing 7 straight games in his senior season and hurting his draft status as well as his teams hopes and look at the good that has come from that.

Urban Meyer did what is best for his season and Florida's hopes of a national champion and let that dirty SOB get away with what is the most disguising act of cowardice I have ever seen on a football field. To have your fingers jabbing an opposing members eyes when he can't even get his hand free to protect himself is about as chickenshit as I have seen ever. And, isn't he the one that talks about how dirty other players / teams are?

posted by Mickster at 11:12 PM on November 02

Meyer is making a big mistake here by fanning the controversy with a slap on the wrist. Florida's on a roll. It doesn't need a distraction that could snowball into something bigger. He should've sat Spikes for a game, condemned his actions and left it at that.

posted by rcade at 12:02 AM on November 03

Thank heavens he didn't do lunch with Deion Sanders or something similarly heinous deserving of a long suspension.

posted by rumple at 12:04 AM on November 03

On local radio in Jacksonville they're saying that Ealey took some cheap shots at Gators during the game.

I'm assuming that with all the cameras surrounding the Gators, there would be video of that too no?

Talked to some people at the game, and word was that Ealey spat in Spikes' face the play before or at some point in the game. The theory is the eye gouge was "payback."

That said, I don't disagree at all that the punishment should be harsher, and SEC should have stepped in at this point to stiffen the penalty. However, from Meyer's perspective: What do you gain, as a coach, by punishing Spikes more? He and the AD know at UF, it's all about winning national championships, all the time. Regardless of it being the right or wrong decision, Meyer looked at what is best for his team to win a championship this year and proceeded accordingly.

posted by jmd82 at 12:06 AM on November 03

Thank heavens he didn't do lunch with Deion Sanders or something similarly heinous deserving of a long suspension.

Isn't that the truth. This guy tries to blind someone and he sits out 30 min of football. What an absolute joke Urban Meyer and the UF are.

What do you gain, as a coach, by punishing Spikes more?

You gain the satisfaction of keeping some of your integrity after that lame speech about.....we love and support SPIKES.....not the guy who could have been PERMANENTLY damaged from an ignorant human being.

Not that I have any respect or like for the NCAA, but if they let this punishment stand, and keep a guy out for an entire year for LYING, not stealing, cheating, using drugs,or trying to take cheapshots it will truly be a shame.

posted by sgtcookzane at 12:31 AM on November 03

ok let's get one thing straight. Ealey is fine, if spikes wanted to gouge his eyes out he had plenty of time to do so. but what i found out was that on the previous play Ealey spit in his face, and all Spikes did was wipe off the spit and was trying to smear it on Ealey's face. he wasnt trying to gouge out his eyes. he was simply taking Ealey's spit and giving it back. if you look at the footage, spikes had his hand inside ealey's facemask for quite a long time, it wouldn't take all that much effort to poke him in the eyes. so i guess next time he should have showed his "Georgia Sportsmanship" and spit back in Ealey's face.

posted by jlh0837 at 07:20 AM on November 03

Ealey is fine, if spikes wanted to gouge his eyes out he had plenty of time to do so. but what i found out was that on the previous play Ealey spit in his face, and all Spikes did was wipe off the spit and was trying to smear it on Ealey's face.

Got anything to back that statement up?

posted by dfleming at 07:55 AM on November 03

but what i found out was that on the previous play Ealey spit in his face, and all Spikes did was wipe off the spit and was trying to smear it on Ealey's face.

What is he, 6? I don't have any idea if anything you wrote there is true, but either way, 1/2 game is too short.

What do you gain, as a coach, by punishing Spikes more?

You gain respect from your players that if they do something wrong, they will be punished for it. You also save yourself from the reputation hit of being ripped from everyone from ESPN to local news to Sportsfilter. That hit's going to last a lot longer than the appropriate punishment would last.

posted by bender at 08:05 AM on November 03

You gain respect from your players that if they do something wrong,

You don't think his players already respect Meyer? Who won a nat'l championship last year? Who are #1 in the polls? And they have Football Jesus playing?

That hit's going to last a lot longer than the appropriate punishment would last.

I can see the recruiting trail now: "Ya now, that guy was only suspended for half a game. I'm going to another school with less national exposure and not as good a chance of winning the championship now!"

I can't believe I'm supporting anything UF, but from a purely coaching and tactical standpoint, I think he made the right decision. Worst that would happen is the SEC comes down with a stiffer penalty, which they did not.

posted by jmd82 at 08:51 AM on November 03

You don't think his players already respect Meyer?

Sure, but when a star player breaks the rules and gets not only a slap on the wrist but an expression of love and support, it sends a mixed message about team discipline and following the rules. Florida's a disciplined team. They don't need this aggravation.

posted by rcade at 09:09 AM on November 03

... all Spikes did was wipe off the spit and was trying to smear it on Ealey's face.

He kept the spit on his face after the play, all in the hopes that on a subsequent play he'd get a chance to wipe it on Ealey? I call BS on that one.

posted by rcade at 09:15 AM on November 03

You don't think his players already respect Meyer? Who won a nat'l championship last year? Who are #1 in the polls?

Of course they respect him from a football standpoint. If he doesn't have the balls to appropriately punish a player when the situation warrants, though, that will likely lead to more players breaking rules or losing discipline. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you don't want to develop a reputation of being soft when it comes to punishments. There may be some benefits for you, but it's going to cost you more in the end.

-On preview-what rcade said.

posted by bender at 09:16 AM on November 03

no he didnt keep it on his face.... he wiped it off and then the very next play was when he smeared it on Ealey's face. look at the footage.

posted by jlh0837 at 09:23 AM on November 03

so, you're saying that he played a entire play with Ealey's spit on his glove, taking care not to accidentally wipe it off doing anything silly like, oh, maybe tackle someone. Then, he jumped on the pile, keeping that hand free, and was simply wiping the spit back on Ealey...is that what you're saying? I double the BS call...no way that happened.

Minimum one game suspension...half a game is almost worse than no suspension. With no suspension you could at least make the statement "we reviewed the tapes, and talked to players, and our decision was to handle this one internally" The half game suspension smacks of "yes, he did that, but we've got a national title to win, and we need to beat Vandy by 60 this week"

posted by dviking at 10:14 AM on November 03

he wiped it off and then the very next play was when he smeared it on Ealey's face. look at the footage. Actually, he stored it on the grassy knoll after the first play, then had one of the cameraman from the moon landing put it in a black helicopter on its way to bomb the Pentagon on behalf of the New World Order. The helicopter hovers at 80,000 feet above the field while a man in an invisibility suit climbs down a rope and gives the spit back to Spikes. look at the footage.

posted by joaquim at 12:01 PM on November 03

that was great footage. "urb" won't even suspend the guy for a full game when he should be out for two! c'mon, it's only vandy. if tebow's the role model, what's spikes? weak.

Sanj

posted by sindysanj5 at 01:54 PM on November 03

look, i could care less about the whole thing. also, one correction, spikes wears a clear face mask cover, so it was never on his actual face, but i see nobody in here pays enough attention to notice those things. and another thing, it doesnt matter what any of you think, its all about winning, no matter what the cost. it is far bigger than any of you, so this sorta thing will continue, its football, and it happens at every level. from elementary to the pros. and one more thing, if someone spat in your face, how would you react?

posted by jlh0837 at 03:12 PM on November 03

......it doesnt matter what any of you think, its all about winning,

I thought it was the challenge of competition, representing your school, taking pride in doing better than you did before .

.....it is far bigger than any of you, so this sorta thing will continue, its football, and it happens at every level. from elementary to the pros.

I played organized sports from 5-18 (hockey, basketball, baseball, rugby, football) and not once did I think about gouging another player's eyes nor did I have my eyes gouged. I never played pro, but unless your name is Bill Romanowski, I don't think it happens very often .

.......no matter what the cost.

Wouldn't it have been easier to stab or shoot the guy then?
Quicker, and would have taken him out for at least a couple of games.
If you're good, maybe you'd actually kill the guy!
That'd slow Georgia down for sure!

.....if someone spat in your face, how would you react?

I'd hope the officials saw it, and tossed him.
Failing that, hit him hard, hit him clean, punish him for the rest of the game.

posted by tommytrump at 03:44 PM on November 03

What tommy said.

I played varsity football in a very competitive league, and not once in two years was I ever told by a coach to hit someone to hurt them, or to get even with an opposing player. While that happened nonetheless, I also didn't see anyone trying to gouge another player's eyes. Nuts maybe, but not eyes.

posted by irunfromclones at 04:22 PM on November 03

Wouldn't it have been easier to stab or shoot the guy then?

I thought it was the challenge of competition, representing your school, taking pride in doing better than you did before .

Best laugh all day.

posted by graymatters at 06:22 PM on November 03

Failing that, hit him hard, hit him clean, punish him for the rest of the game

That line brought back memories...in a High School game, an opposing corner back put several cheap shots on our QB, and was seen kneeing a guy in the groin after a tackle. I was one of the wide outs. the coach told us all that on every running play he wanted us to take the jerk out. If he was standing at the end of a play, we were coming out. I think I blind sided him about 10 times myself. The cheap shot artist's last name was Christian. That game was over 30 years ago, funny how some things stick with you. Sorry, that was my trip down memory lane for the day.

posted by dviking at 09:34 PM on November 03

The irony of this all, Brandon Spikes is going to sit out a whole half in Florida's next game for deliberately eye gouging Georgia RB Washaun Ealey but Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant is still suspended for the year for lying.

I wonder what Spikes is going to learn while sitting out the half for his actions?

posted by BornIcon at 11:37 PM on November 03

Is he really even sitting out 30 minutes? Florida is going to have the ball for the majority of the time anyway, so hardly a suspension.

posted by dviking at 02:48 AM on November 04

This just shows how much of an ass clown Urban Meyer is. He's always whining about something. Attempting to take the sight of another person is inexcusable, and should be punished more severely. I hope the NCAA does something about it. I doubt the SEC is going to punish one of its own, especially while they're first in the polls.

but what i found out was that on the previous play Ealey spit in his face, and all Spikes did was wipe off the spit and was trying to smear it on Ealey's face.

The statement you made is ridiculous! If he was just trying to wipe the spit back in his face and not poke his eye, his hand would not have been angled right up at his eyes. Watch it again, Spikes is in there so far his glove is falling off.

posted by jojomfd1 at 06:21 AM on November 04

Meyer isn't the most likable guy in the world, but he's a hell of a football coach and he's gotten the most out of Tim Tebow. Florida wasn't in great shape under Ron Zook.

As for the incident, it was a dirty play, but I think the calls for Spikes to get more than a one-game suspension are excessive. Washaun Ealey doesn't think the incident deserves any suspension. "He shouldn't, I think, get suspended at all," he said. "We were just out there playing football."

posted by rcade at 07:01 AM on November 04

As for the incident, it was a dirty play, but I think the calls for Spikes to get more than a one-game suspension are excessive.

You say that Dez Bryant's season long suspension is justified for lying over nothing but Blount and Spikes have both done some dirty, physical and violent things on the football field that has no place in the game but them recieving a lesser degree of punishment for those actions is fine? Spikes didn't even recieve a one-game suspension for cyin' out loud.

These two individuals have no excuse for their actions but IMO they should not be suspended for the year but Spikes should at least be suspended 1-2 games. Blount was suspended for a fair amount of time and learned from his mistake but what has Spikes learned from this? He's not even going to be suspended for a game, just the half of a game while Dez Bryant is sitting out the entire year for lying when just about any kid would do the same if they felt that they would have gotten in trouble even though he did nothing wrong.

I would really like to know how Bryant feels about these two individuals getting off so easy while he's watching all of this unfurl from the sidelines. I believe that the NCAA has lost whatever respectability they had left by allowing such a mess to happen on their watch.

Washaun Ealey doesn't think the incident deserves any suspension. "He shouldn't, I think, get suspended at all," he said. "We were just out there playing football."

That's not playing football, that has no place in the game of football. I never heard of a play called by a coach for a player to eye gouge another player.

posted by BornIcon at 08:46 AM on November 04

You say that Dez Bryant's season long suspension is justified for lying over nothing ...

I'm coming around to the idea that Dez Bryant got a raw deal.

I never heard of a play called by a coach for a player to eye gouge another player.

No, but people are being naive if they think that dirty plays don't happen all the time in football. What kind of stuff do you think happens under the pile in a battle for a fumble?

posted by rcade at 09:06 AM on November 04

I'm coming around to the idea that Dez Bryant got a raw deal.

What took so long? You're better than that!

/just busting your chops

No, but people are being naive if they think that dirty plays don't happen all the time in football. What kind of stuff do you think happens under the pile in a battle for a fumble?

I played football in HS and know exactly what happens in a pile up, that still doesn't mean that it's 'part of the game'. That's not football and anyone caught making a dirty play such as what Spikes did, would be kicked out of the game.

I've seen it happen before while I was playing in HS where a player was squeezing the family jewels of another player in a pile up but the ref caught the guy and he was kicked out of the game for unsportsmanlike conduct. Those type of actions do not belong in the game of football although we're fully aware that they do occur.

posted by BornIcon at 11:11 AM on November 04

why is everyone making such a huge deal out of this, being that the alleged victim said that spikes shouldn't have got suspended at all.

The statement you made is ridiculous! If he was just trying to wipe the spit back in his face and not poke his eye, his hand would not have been angled right up at his eyes. Watch it again, Spikes is in there so far his glove is falling off

my point exactly, his hand was so far inside his facemask that if he wanted to he could have gouged out his eyes. and apparently Ealey knew what was going on that's why he stated that spikes should not have been suspended.

posted by jlh0837 at 01:28 AM on November 05

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