Indiana true freshman defensive lineman David Kenney will miss the first half of Saturday’s game with Wisconsin because he was flagged for targeting during last week’s 52-35 victory over Illinois.
The problem is that the replay was at best inconclusive. After calling the penalty, the officials then took another look at it and decided there wasn’t enough evidence to overturn their original decision.
And so Kenney sits for the first 30 minutes of game time on Saturday against the Badgers.
But this is where I have a problem. After Indiana’s coaching staff took a long look at the hit, they determined that they believed Kenney got a raw deal.
They thought it should have been a penalty, no question about that. Perhaps a personal foul for a late hit or a roughing the passer call. But targeting? They didn’t see it that way.
And so Kevin Wilson and his staff asked the league to review it again.
The B1G response: It can’t be re-reviewed because of the fact it was already reviewed one time. Apparently there is only one review permitted.
And this is what I don’t get. It’s like using a pencil and ignoring the fact you have an eraser.
When I saw the replay in the press box Saturday, I thought for certain at the time that the officials would look at it and decide that it wasn’t targeting. I didn’t think it was a helmet-to-helmet hit and I didn’t think Kenney went after the Illinois quarterback with the crown of his helmet.
IU radio voices Don Fischer and Buck Suhr agreed and said so on the air. And of course, a few moments later, the official announced that the ruling on the field had been confirmed and that Kenney had been ejected.
”It’s kind of an unfortunate deal because we’ve talked with our people and got them looking into it,’’ Wilson said Monday at his weekly press conference. “The call was made. It’s a high hit targeting hit (that was called). And the targeting rule is talking about hitting with your crown or going high to the head or launching at a guy.
”(Kenney) comes at the quarterback and he actually comes down and comes with his arms, and he hits the guy and hits the guy late. Probably it should have been a roughing the passer call, but because it was called targeting and then it was reviewed, the ref doesn’t want to change it and then it’s stuck.’’
Wilson made a couple of things very clear. He likes the targeting rule and believes that you should do everything possible to protect players. He also said he thinks Big Ten officials do an excellent job and in this case he agreed that a penalty should have been called.
He just didn’t think it should be for targeting and he doesn’t think the penalty fit the crime.
Asked about protecting players, Wilson said he thinks that part of the targeting rule “is awesome.’’
“But I think in time, maybe we missed or penalized this kid when more common minds look at it and say, ‘You know, that wasn’t a target play,’’’ Wilson said. “’That wasn’t an intent play. That was a physical, aggressive play and that was probably a late hit. Let’s give this guy a chance.’’’
Unfortunately, with the rules as they are the chance was taken when the officials decided to review the play.
And here’s my problem there. Depending on how big of a game it is, the more potential review angles you have to go back and look at a play. In this one there were about three different angles and I didn’t think the intent was clearly there on any of those angles.
Wilson’s point there was that it then becomes a situation where one person reviewing a play maybe sees it a little differently. But the problem becomes when this is then a final decision.
Why would it be a big deal for the B1G to be able to go back on Monday morning and re-review a call or two when you’re talking about a player having to sit out a half of the next game?
Myself, I think this is the bigger question that the conference needs to answer on this topic.
Follow Terry Hutchens at Twitter.com/Foxsportshutch