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Posted on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 4:33 p.m.

Michigan linebacker Jonas Mouton suspended for Saturday's game against Eastern Michigan

By Dave Birkett

Rich Rodriguez didn't see it, but the Big Ten did.

The conference suspended Michigan linebacker Jonas Mouton for Saturday's game against Eastern Michigan after replays appeared to show him punch a Notre Dame player on the field last week.

“The actions of Jonas Mouton during the Notre Dame game are unacceptable,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement Friday. "Mouton's behavior has no place in the sport of football or the Big Ten Conference.”

Mouton struck Notre Dame center Eric Olsen under the chin as he rose from a block early in the second quarter of last week's 38-34 victory. Rodriguez said Wednesday he didn't see a punch on film and had no plans to punish Mouton. (video of Rodriguez's response here)

No penalty was called on the play.

"The little bit I saw, the clip I saw, the guys got tangled up together and Jonas was trying to free himself," Rodriguez said. "I mean, there was a whole lot of officials out there. I’m sure if there was infraction they would have called it.”

Michigan declined comment Friday. Rodriguez, on a video posted on the athletic department's official Web site, said J.B. Fitzgerald, Kevin Leach and Brandon Smith will "get more time at linebacker" in Mouton's place.

The Big Ten also publicly reprimanded Mouton on Friday.



Sat, Sep 19, 2009 : 9:15 a.m.

You want to see a really bad incident, far worse than this tap to the helmet by Mouton, look at videos from the Ohio State-Wisconsin game in 2003. ABC cameras caught (on national TV) OSU's linebacker Robert Reynolds viciously choking WI QB Jim Sorgi at the bottom of a pileup. Sorgi had to leave the game and had trouble breathing & talking for hours afterward. Punishment: one game suspension for Reynolds - that's it. So, Mouton's "crime" was nothing by comparison and didn't warrant anything close to this degee of attention. The Big Ten's decision was a political one to pacify someone - as some have suggested possibly Charlie the Hut.

Man in the Mirror

Sat, Sep 19, 2009 : 6:52 a.m.

Why won't they just let our coach do what he want's. He's the bestest coach out there and if he does'nt feel the need to punish his players for socking the opposition what's the big deal. The big 10, reporters that don't support our Coach, and the ncaa need to mind their own business and leave Coach Rich alone.


Sat, Sep 19, 2009 : 12:33 a.m.

Sparky79 ".....Meanwhile, Mouton taps Olsen on the chin and the Big Ten suspends him....." Mouton has been training for 2 years with brawis, a former MMA trainer, I guess Olsen is just lucky he got punched and not thrown into a figure four leg choke. He was trying to kill Olsen so that God could "Sort him out".


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 11:33 p.m.

You guys happy now?


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 11:32 p.m.

It looks as though RR needs to learn politics the image conscious Big 10 way. Weis manipulated the situation and got his media hype. Weis knows he just has to cry foul and the NDNation is all over it, using the media as tools. Consequently, the situation gets blown out of proportion, resulting with the Big 10 overreacting disproportionately. As _theseeker_ observes, as an Independent, what institution monitors Notre Dame infractions? Assuming it would be Notre Dame monitoring itself, would they suspend a player if the roles were reversed? More importantly, would 'ND Homer Rothstein' and be all over it demanding a suspension?


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 11:09 p.m.

We can blame Barney Frank's evil twin (Charlie Weis) and the "witch hunt" hacks of this pathetic for this travesty. Delany is a gutless jerk!


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 10:43 p.m.

Wait until the league takes action against that Notre Dame player... Oh wait, they aren't IN a league... Rather, they are 'in a league of their own, so to speak. And I agree that the reports made way too big a deal out of this whole episode. Please try to be fair and BALANCED!


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 10:24 p.m.

I wonder if the ND Slugg that rode him to the ground got suspended? Geesh imagine that! Always a one sided story!


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 10:22 p.m.

Yet another bad decision by Rodriguez. He needs to resist instant comments, review the film, and make the obvious decision to suspend Mouton. Now the Big Ten has to step in and add yet another blow to Michigan's credibility. This "maverick mentality" won't help our NCAA investigation.


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 10:13 p.m.

What a joke. Dave Birkett seems to have an axe to grind and too much time on his hands. I am ready to cancel my subscription soon. Rich Rod is doing fine. The game is football and is played much tougher than some desk jockey soft reporter would ever understand. The constant badgering of Rich Rod is some of the worst reporting I have ever seen. You might be looking good to the National Enquirer however. I hope you are out of a job soon!


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 9:17 p.m.



Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 8:42 p.m.

I think "umlinks" has is right.


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 8:42 p.m.

I think "umlinks" has is right.


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 8:40 p.m.

I've seen the video. A punch is a punch. Even if it was instigated. Rich Rod is acting very arrogant here.


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 8:29 p.m.

This is embarrassing, the man has no character, win at any costs. Look for sanctions from the NCAA, Big Ten and the U of M once the investigation is completed.


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 8:29 p.m.

Typical. The ND guy starts it, Mouton finishes it, and the ND guy gets away scot free. And then, of course, ND and their fans keep complaining about how they got "jobbed."


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 7:24 p.m.

The issue is not whether or not the refs saw the punch or a penalty was called. The issue is the punch is clearly visible on video. RR needed to simply state that he would handle the matter internally. Just a canned statement to the media was all that was required. He didn't even have to punish Mouton. I love RR's football genius and I think Michigan is extremely exciting to watch now and will be even better as time goes on. However, RR really needs some guidance on PR stuff like this. Just a few words early in the week at his press conference would've squashed this thing and Jonas would've been playing on Saturday. Maybe only for a half or three quarters, but he would've played.

Dave Birkett

Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 5:47 p.m.

I have nothing to do with comment moderation.


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 5:34 p.m.

Charlie threatened to swallow Jim Delany.....Seriuosly, what Mouton did was wrong and deserves a consequence. Suspension from a game with a non-conference opponent may not be too much. That said, I would love to know about what precipitated this event. Sneaky hits? Epithets? I know that Domers are above all that, but the world wonders...


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 5:26 p.m.

This is just another step in the "Witch Hunt" that the media has undertaken since RR took the head coaching position. Charlie "Jabba the Hutt" Weiss, had a lot to do with it, but its mostly due to the press wanting nothing more than to focus 90% of the attention on small, negative instances which occur at all schools. You bring up a excellent example Sparky79, of how this king of stuff happens every game down in the pile...and the incident you speak of was a hell of a lot worse than Moutons love tap!! The media and Jabba need to put down the torches and go home!!


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 5:14 p.m.

Dave I completely agree. I actually think that Rich Rod probably was intending to handle it internally. I just don't think that he wanted to discuss the matter with the reporters. If he wanted to keep it "in house" he shouldve at the very least acknowledged it with the reporters and said "he would handle more comment" but by disregarding it altogether (with the media) it raised a flag with the big 10. Yes he handled it poorly. He is still a fantastic coach! My big problem was Rothsteins ridiculous amount of sarcasm in his article.

Dave Birkett

Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 5 p.m.

I think Rich handled the whole incident poorly and in the end left the Big Ten no choice. I don't think Mouton deserved a game suspension, but clearly he purposely struck the Notre Dame player after the whistle. Since Rich wasn't going to handle it internally - extra laps, sit him the first quarter, write a letter of apology; whatever - the Big Ten had to impose its own punishment. And after the Oregon incident a few weeks ago, the conference couldn't go small.


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 4:54 p.m.

So James Kamoku intentionally tries to twist Steve Breaston's ankle a few years ago during a game. It got no flag. It got outrage from U-M fans. But in the end it got nothing but "internal discipline" from Wisconsin's head coach (which basically means it got nothing). Meanwhile, Mouton taps Olsen on the chin and the Big Ten suspends him. Why didn't the Big Ten involve itself with Kamoku--which was clearly intention and dangerous--but it will with Mouton? If RichRod had said, "We've handled it internally," I wonder if that's all it would have taken like it did in Kamoku's case.


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 4:48 p.m.

Yes, this was to appease Weiss and ND. Weiss has sent all this video to the b10 commissioner showing how the refs through the game for UM. Awwwhhhh poor baby but I think your stupid coaching moves made more of the difference to your loss. This really bogus to suspend the player. If the commissioner was certain this was a deliberate punch, which I do not believe it was looking at the video, then the commissioner should have suspend the referees of the game for not calling the penalty.


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 4:45 p.m.

A2Dave Notre Dame is going pummel MSU tomorrow. State doesnt have a chance. Notre Dame will rush for atleast 150 yards and Clausen will most likely throw for 300-400 yards. Michigan State has zero answer for what ND will bring. MSU has no rushing, a very weak passing game and their defense has serious issues.


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 4:26 p.m.

I wish Rich would have just said...."we handled it internally. He has been punished." The Big 10 then wouldn't have felt the need to step in. In the future, expect Rich to take this approach.....


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 4:21 p.m.

They were responding to Charlie Weiss. Wonder what he/they'll find wrong after Sparty pounds them.


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 4:15 p.m.

What took the Big Ten so long to make this decision? Were they simply responding to the articles making a big deal out of this or what? If it was so "unacceptable", why didn't the referees call any penalty? After seeing the video of the incident, I still believe it was not worthy of a suspension. At worst, RR could have made Mouton run extra laps in practice or some other internal punishment. But it seems unusually harsh by the Big 10 compared to some of the much worse incidents I've seen in recent years that resulted in the same punishement.


Fri, Sep 18, 2009 : 4:08 p.m.

If that's what they felt he deserved then that's what he deserved, I don't necessarily think they had to step in. Also's 3 or 4 seperate stories on this was laughable.