The NCAA's new rule which allows for reviewing illegal or dangerous hits and punishing players even when no flag was thrown during the game has already been used once in a game involving a Big Ten team, and coach Tim Brewster is asking, indirectly, that it be used again.
A hit from California's Sean Cattouse left Minnesota's elite wide receiver Eric Decker sprawled on the turf of TCF Bank Stadium. Decker cut his chin and was slow to get up, but held on to the ball for a touchdown. No penalty was called on the play, but in his postgame press conference, Brewster said, "I thought that [the referees] missed a call there," Brewster said. "As I looked at the replay, you know, it looked to me like a helmet-to-helmet contact, and, you know, they didn’t call it."
Because the rule defers punishment to the conference of the offending player, any suspension of Cattouse would have to be enforced by the Pac-10.
Meanwhile, Michigan has already suffered the consequences of the new policy. Linebacker Jonas Mouton sat out of Michigan's game on Saturday against Eastern Michigan after a replay caught him punching a Notre Dame player the previous week. Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez, who expressed some unease about the new postgame reviews, at first objected to his player's punishment. Later, he agreed that the act should have drawn a penalty, but said that he would be keeping his eye on, and reporting, any other illegal conduct among Big Ten teams: "Now I will tell you, my conversation with the commissioner was that we will watch every Big Ten game very closely and any non-football act, whether it’s a six-inch jab or anything that’s not called for the game of football we’re going to ask that person get the same type of punishment Jonas Mouton got. I’m sure the league will do that."
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