Eye for an Eye: Brandon Spikes' Dirty Play

Josh RutledgeCorrespondent INovember 2, 2009

OXFORD, MS - SEPTEMBER 22: Brandon Spikes #51 of the Florida Gators looks on during warmups before a game against the Mississippi Rebels on September 22, 2007 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium/Hollingsworth Field in Oxford, Mississippi. Florida won  30-24. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

I'll admit up front that I'm biased.

I am a Georgia fan. I'm bummed the Bulldogs lost to the Gators last Saturday. I'll readily admit Florida is the superior program.

But any college football fan should be outraged at Florida Gators linebacker Brandon Spikes.

Why? He's a dirty player.

At one point in last Saturday's game, Georgia running back Washaun Ealey was tackled near the goal line by several Gators. In the mass of players, Spikes bent over and shoved his hand into Ealey's mask, attempting to gouge Ealey's eyes.

I have watched it multiple times, wondering whether it was just an innocent, aggressive play. You tell me.

No flag was thrown, presumably because no referee saw it happen. But the replay showed the obvious.

Both CBS commentators Gary Danielson and Verne Lundquist said nothing. CBS showed the play multiple times, apparently begging one of the two commentators to take note of what had happened on the play. Both were quiet.

After all, they had spent the entire game talking about the leadership of Spikes and Tim Tebow. They spent a solid minute talking about Georgia's lack of discipline compared to Florida.

Then Spikes purposefully gouged someone's eyes, and both of them went silent. Nicely done, Gary and Verne. Way to stick up for a true freshman who's getting his eyes gouged out by a bully.

It was an extremely dirty play, and Spikes was suspended by Urban Meyer for the first half of Florida's upcoming game against Vanderbilt.

But that won't affect Spikes or Florida at all. Florida has already clinched the SEC East. Losing Spikes to a game against Vanderbilt won't affect Florida, which is why the SEC should have stepped up and suspended him for a game that really matters: the SEC Championship.

In fact, Spikes suspension for the Vanderbilt game will probably help Florida. It gives Spikes more time to rest his injuries. Clearly, Florida has already shown they can win games without him, especially against an opponent like Vanderbilt.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive has had his hands full this season. He's dealing with a barrage of complaints that the SEC is helping Florida and Alabama reach the National Championship.

But here, he had a chance to show there is no bias in the league office.

He could have suspended the leader of the Florida defense. He could have suspended him for a game that matters. It's not an undeserved penalty. Watch the replay. Tell me that's not a legitimate cause for more than a half-game suspension.

Oregon suspended running back LeGarrette Blount for the season after punching a Boise State player. Is that a more serious offense than attempting to gouge out the eyes of a defenseless player?

Florida, of course, didn't have the courage to suspend Myers for more than half of a game. When asked about the play, Urban Meyer responded, "I'll have a very serious talk with him."

That'll teach Spikes. I'm sure a serious talk with Meyer will bring him around.

No, Slive and SEC should have stepped up in this case and suspended Spikes for the SEC Championship Game.

It's not eye for an eye, but it's close enough. It would have hurt Spikes, and it would have hurt his team. Isn't that what punishment is supposed to do?