NOTE: The views expressed in this EDITORIAL do not necessarily reflect the views of Detroit Sports Nation or a majority of its writers and should not be misconstrued as such. The views contained within are the views of the author and the author alone.
Today, I’m calling on the NCAA and the Big Ten to investigate not only the injury that Brandon Peters suffered on Saturday but, the play that surrounded it. While on the road against the Wisconsin Badgers, the Michigan Wolverines’ redshirt freshman signal caller suffered an upper body injury on a direct hit from Andrew Van Ginkel.
It’s important to understand that I don’t take exception to the hit.
Big hits, violent tackles, and colossal collisions are part of the game. It’s what takes place after the tackle that bothers me — and should bother everyone who is a football fan. Take a look at the play. The best look is a 0:37 seconds in.
Brandon Peters pretty sure collarbone injury season ending no doubt Michigan Wolverines a big lose to the team #MICHvsWISC pic.twitter.com/OLQsrn1esI
— 🦃Phenomenal One J🦃 (@PhenomenalOneJ) November 18, 2017
After the legal tackle is made, Van Ginkel clearly wrenches the body of Peters. The ball is gone. He’s not trying to force a fumble. I can’t think of any reason for Van Ginkel’s actions except an attempt to personally injure Peters.
Making matters worse, FOX showed only one replay. How many times have you sat through numerous gruesome replays of other injuries? Only one in this instance. I wonder why?
This play reminded me of a similar play from Michigan State University’s William Gholston several years ago. During the Michigan/Michigan State game of 2011, cameras caught Gholston trying to injure other players on the field.
Punching is one thing. But that helmet twist is diabolical. What if Gholston had succeeded in breaking Denard Robinson’s neck? Paralyzed him or worse?
Gholston’s behavior would be criminal if it didn’t occur on the football field. After the Gholston incident, it was clear that some schools are not able to police their own players and discipline them proportionately. The Ann Arbor News noted in 2011 that Gholston was suspended for a punch by the league, but, not for the helmet twist. Furthermore, the Big Ten did the suspending, not Mark Dantonio or Michigan State.
What should the penalty be for deliberately trying to seriously injure another player? This is way outside the box. Deliberate attempts should be punished swiftly and harshly using the benefit of replay.
Van Ginkel’s behavior is in the same class as Gholston’s. This was a deliberate attempt to injure another player. It was not a football play.
We can expect the same from Badgers head coach, Paul Chryst. He won’t suspend his player. He’ll talk about playing tough and how injuries are inevitable. How much respect he has for Michigan, Peters, and Harbaugh. The Big Ten was unwilling to do anything to Gholston six years ago for a similar act of aggression. Don’t hold your breath this time either.
Andrew Van Ginkel should be kicked off the team and lose his university scholarship. If he is not disciplined by Chryst and the university, then the Big Ten and NCAA should punish them as well.
Representing a school as a student-athlete is a privilege. If a person is unable to demonstrate the proper self-discipline to play the game, the authority of the school, league, and governing institution (NCAA) should step in and take over.