Michigan Should Have Forfieted Against Purdue

Chris ScheiCorrespondent IJanuary 31, 2009

The game between Michigan and Purdue was shaping up to be an old-fashioned Big Ten dogfight. It was early in the second half, and I was preparing for an exciting finish.

Then someone got in the way.

That someone was official Jim Burr.

Manny Harris caught the ball on the wing, and swung his elbows to try to gain separation from his defender. It's something that happens dozens of times in a game, and something each player does.

This particular time, Chris Kramer of Purdue got as close as he could to Harris, and when Harris swung his elbows, he hit Kramer in the face.

It's an accident that happens from time to time in basketball. Harris was called for an offensive foul.

Announcer Clark Kellogg said "that's the right call, the defender has his right to that space."

Kellogg was absolutely right. Offensive foul, let's move it along.

Jim Burr wanted to watch the replay. One of the players got elbowed in the face, and Burr was going to look at that replay until he saw something, anything that he could say looked intentional.

He saw nothing, and even told Michigan Coach John Beilien that there was no malice intended, and it was an accident.

Jim Burr called a flagrant foul and ejected Harris from the game nonetheless.

Beilien took some time to argue with Burr, but to no avail. Burr thought that Harris needed to be ejected, malice or not.

I was hoping Beilien would get ejected as well trying to make his point.

Each Michigan player and coach should've yelled and screamed at Jim Burr until each one was ejected, forfieting the game.

By doing that, it would be all over every newscast in the country, and a lot of people would get to see Jim Burr embarrassing himself with that call.

In the small scheme of things, it didn't really matter. Purdue was going to win that game.

In the big picture, however, will this cost Manny Harris a game or two? By Jim Burr stupidly ejecting Harris from that game, is that an automatic suspension from the NCAA?

We'll have to wait and see with that one.

All I know is if Manny Harris is suspended for one game, Jim Burr should be suspended for two.