Did Michigan's Mark Ortmann strike Illinois' Corey Liuget?
If precedent holds, Michigan might be without starting left tackle Mark Ortmann for its last best chance to qualify for a bowl game Saturday against Purdue.
Ortmann was on his knees next to Forcier when Liuget came up with the loose ball. Liuget walked into Ortmann, stood over him pointing in celebration, and Ortmann appeared to jab Liuget with his left fist.
Replays did not show where or if the punch landed - Ortmann’s helmet was in the way - but Liuget complained to an official after the play and walked hunched over to the Illinois sideline.
Earlier this year, linebacker Jonas Mouton was suspended one game by the Big Ten for violating the league’s sportsmanlike conduct policy after he struck Notre Dame center Eric Olsen under the helmet.
As with the Ortmann incident, no penalty was called on Mouton’s play.
The conference also suspended Purdue lineman Zach Reckman for striking a Northern Illinois player in a non-football manner earlier this year.
A Michigan spokesperson said coach Rich Rodriguez would have to review the tape before making any comment.
The Big Ten did not have any immediate comment.
Michigan (5-4, 0-4) needs one win to qualify for the postseason, and closes the season at Wisconsin and home against Ohio State.
Purdue is 3-6 overall, 2-3 in conference play.
Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.