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Big Sky slaps EWU’s Wilkins with one-game suspension

The Big Sky Conference has suspended Eastern Washington Univeristy's senior linebacker Kyle Wilkins for one game because of the illegal hit his put on a Weber State receiver during Saturday's 31-13 loss to the Wildcats at Woodward Field.

I did not see a replay of the hit, but from my pressbox view, I did not think it deserved even the personal-foul penalty it drew at the time, helping set the stage for three WSU scores in the final 90 seconds of the first half.  I have a call in to EWU coach Beau Baldwin to get his take on the hit and the suspension and will update this post with whatever comments he makes.

In the meantime, I encourage anyone who saw the game and Wilkins' hit to weigh in with their opinions.  Is the suspension warranted?

As promised, I've incuded these comments from Baldwin, who obviously understands the limitations on what a coach can say about Big Sky officials:

"We're talking about going three deep (into the depth chart, now," he said, adding that redshirt freshman Tyler Washburn will probably start against Montana on Saturday. "But most of all, I feel bad for Kyle, being and senior and all, because the Montana game is always a big deal."

 

OGDEN, UTAH (Oct. 14, 2009) - The Big Sky Conference has suspended Eastern Washington football player Kyle Wilkins for an illegal hit in last Saturday’s game against Weber State, the league announced Wednesday.

 

  Wilkins, a senior linebacker from Monroe, Wash., will serve a one-game suspension this Saturday when Eastern Washington plays at Montana.

 

  Wilkins was penalized for a personal foul after hitting a defenseless Weber State wide receiver above the shoulders with 3:08 to play in the second quarter of the Eagles’ 31-13 loss to the Wildcats.

 

  “These types of hits have become a point of emphasis in the NCAA this year,’’ said Big Sky Conference Commissioner Doug Fullerton. “It is a new policy. It is an outgrowth of the commissioners’ involvement with the college football officials’ organization, and their attempt to get dangerous plays out of the game. This type of hit is dangerous not only to the player receiving the hit, but to the player delivering the hit.’’

 

  Rule 9-6-2 in the 2009 NCAA football rule book states: When there is a foul called for initiating contact/targeting an opponent that does not result in a player disqualification, there shall automatically be a video review by the conference for possible additional sanctions before the next scheduled game.

 

  Rule 9-1-3 states that: a). No player shall initiate contact and target an opponent with the crown (top) of his helmet. b) No player shall initiate contact and target a defenseless opponent above the shoulders.

 

          “Because this rule is new, we asked for an additional review of the play by David Parry, the national coordinator for NCAA football officials,’’ Fullerton said. “He concurred with our decision.’’

 

 

 




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