Today, the Big Ten announced that it is going to suspend Ohio State safety Kurt Coleman for one game after his helmet-to-helmet hit on backup Illinois quarterback Eddie McGee. This continues the Big Ten's disturbing trend of suspending players for, well, not particularly serious on-field events.
It began with the suspension of Michgan's Jonas Mouton after a punch he threw toward the end of the Notre Dame game. Mouton's offense didn't draw a flag on the field and didn't incite much on the field (in fact, nothing on the field at all). It's my assumption that this sort of event happens a lot on the field. But it wasn't until Charlie Weis complained about the punch in the post-game conference that it drew any attention. After the suspension, Rich Rodriguez, not happy with it, said he was going to be diligent and make sure the Big Ten was as harsh on similar events in the future. Well, they were. First on Purdue offensive lineman Zach Reckman for his elbow late in Purdue's loss to Northern Illinois.
The real problem with all of these suspensions--and it began with the Mouton punch--is that the offense for getting suspended has been significantly downgraded. If the Big Ten is going to keep suspending players like this, it's going to start significantly affecting the outcome of games, and possibly, the race for the Big Ten Title. By continuing this tyrannical rule and trying to hide that these sorts of incidents happen in a football game is silly. The Big Ten has dug a grave for itself and won't be able to get out until next year rolls around and they ultimately forget this silliness ever happened. And people wonder why the Big Ten is a national joke.