Arkansas head football coach Bobby Petrino is against cheap and dirty play.
We know this is the case because he has called out Vanderbilt for what he calls a dirty play by Commodore offensive lineman Kyle Fischer that resulted in an injury to Razorback freshman defensive lineman Bryan Jones.
Was the play cheap and dirty? The officials did not call a penalty in the play, but that really does not mean anything. Plenty of calls are missed in a fast-moving game where players outnumber officials. A hit can be cheap and/or dirty whether it is called or not.
Petrino was not done with just the play of Vanderbilt though. He also made mention of the play Ryan Mallett was injured on against Auburn and the tackle of Joe Adams in the Ole Miss game as being evidence of “cheap, dirty” play. For the record, penalties were not called on these plays either.
Petrino may have a point about dirty play. Football games need to be played with a right spirit and proper attitude towards the other team.
However, if Petrino wants to be the spokesman for ridding the field of cheap, dirty play, he should start by taking steps with his own team.
After the Alabama game, Tide running back Mark Ingram made a comment about the cheap shots Arkansas players were taking towards the end of the game. There is also the block Wade Grayson (see the play at YouTube here) made on Tide defender Marcel Dareus that looks a little like what Petrino calls “cheap, dirty” play.
Another image of cheapness on the field is Joe Adams' continual taunting of players from other teams. His actions put the outcome of the Georgia game in doubt after he was flagged for being in the face of a Georgia player on the sidelines.
What about quarterback Ryan Mallett? Remember his punch at a Texas A&M player after he was sacked in Dallas? Not many people would call that a classy move, but there was not a peep from Petrino about this being cheap or dirty.
While a Vandy player may have taken a cheap shot at a Razorback player, don’t forget there was concern expressed by Vanderbilt staff regarding the actions of some on the Arkansas sidelines toward the ball boys the Commodores had working the game.
We agree with Petrino that there is no place in college football for cheap, dirty play. Here is a thought for the Arkansas head man to consider: Why not take the lead on this issue by cleaning up the trash talking and questionable play at times of his own team?