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Urban Meyer Will Not Suspend Ejected Players from Big Ten Championship Game

USA Today
Tyler ConwayFeatured Columnist IVDecember 2, 2016

Apparently, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer thinks missing one half of football is enough punishment for offensive lineman Marcus Hall and running back Dontre Wilson, the two players ejected during the Buckeyes' fracas with Michigan on Saturday.    

Speaking in his weekly teleconference to discuss Ohio State's 42-41 win over its archrival, Meyer indicated he has no plans to suspend Hall or Wilson, who were both ejected for throwing punches early in the second quarter. 

"I've dealt internally with the players, obviously Marcus Hall, Dontre Wilson and also there was another person who came off the bench that we had a discipline conversation already," Meyer said, via Austin Ward of ESPN. "Certainly I am going to handle the discipline of this situation."     

The Buckeyes, who are expected to be ranked No. 2 in the latest BCS rankings, take on Michigan State next Saturday in the Big Ten Championship Game. There were some who thought Meyer would take disciplinary action despite the importance of the contest.

Wilson and Hall were among the principal scrappers in the brawl, which saw multiple players throw punches and leave their respective sidelines as blood boiled over following a Michigan kickoff. Wilson was thrown out of the game for his role in instigating the fight after being upset with how the Wolverines defenders tackled him on the return. 

Via ABC/ESPN Broadcast

Hall was among those who left the sidelines once the fight broke out, and he has gotten attention for his actions after the officiating crew disqualified him. The Buckeyes' starting right guard kicked a bench and flipped off the Michigan Stadium crowd as an Ohio State staffer attempted to escort him off the field.

Via ABC/ESPN Broadcast

Michigan linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone was the only Wolverines player disciplined in-game. Michigan coach Brady Hoke has not indicated whether he is considering any further punishment for Jenkins-Stone, a backup linebacker who isn't as integral as his two Buckeyes counterparts. The Wolverines are off until their bowl game, so Hoke will have plenty of time to decide.

While Meyer said he isn't planning a suspension, Hall and Wilson aren't necessarily out of the water, as the Big Ten reserves the right to enact its own discipline in all situations. Meyer indicated he'll have a decision from the conference soon:

I have not heard from the Big Ten. We're supposed to discuss it tonight, and also [athletic director] Gene Smith and I will discuss it shortly. I'm disappointed. There's no place for fighting in football, and I think the Big Ten did an excellent job getting people out of there on both sides.

Should the Big Ten choose to suspend either player, it'll be a critical blow for the Buckeyes. Wilson is a versatile option who lines up all over the field for Meyer and is one of the team's most explosive playmakers. Hall is a senior offensive guard and is considered a veteran leader on the squad.

 

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