After Saturday`s 28-21 loss to Illinois, the Illini rushed the field to celebrate and were met by Ohio State players. At some point, people started pushing and it led to punches being thrown.
Now the Big Ten is apparently looking into what happened. Coach Jim Tressel was asked if he was concerned about any potential discipline to his players.
“Oh, I wouldn`t think so,” he said Monday. “I think they (the Illini) were excited and we were on our way over to shake their hands and at the most, there was some nudging and pushing.”
There was certainly more than nudging and pushing. Punches were definitely thrown and tempers flared. But whether the Big Ten office will do anything about it, that`s another matter.
The conference supposedly also is looking into the officiating crew that did the game. Some reports – unconfirmed by Ohio State officials – said that the crew was the same one that was strongly criticized the week before by Purdue coach Joe Tiller after his team lost at Penn State.
“I don`t even know the names of the guys officiating,” Tressel said. “I know they have striped shirts. What they can do, I`m sure they do it to the best of their ability.”
On the 80-yard run that led to Illinois` first touchdown, RB Daniel Dufrene clearly fumbled the ball before he hit the ground and the ball was recovered in the end zone by the Buckeyes. The officials may have missed the call, but then again Tressel did not attempt to have the play checked on video replay, which he is allowed to do.
NO IN-STATE LOVE
When the Buckeyes` score was announced at the Cincinnati Bearcats home game against UConn on Saturday, the P.A. guy read it as: “This score just in from Columbus, Illinois 28, THE Ohio State University 21.”
Most of the 30,000 people cheered.
DE Vernon Gholston grew up in Detroit, but wasn`t a Michigan fan – or even a football fan – until he started playing the sport in the 10th grade. He was offered a scholarship by the school in Ann Arbor, but instead elected to go to Ohio State. He says he doesn`t get much heat from his friends and family when he wears his scarlet and gray stuff in the Motor City.
“Not really at all. For the most part, the guys up there understand that I went to Ohio State because that`s a good school for me, and that I like Ohio State,” he said. “Most people are proud of me and the things I do at Ohio State.”
Asked what it would be like if he was from Columbus and wore his maize and blue around here, Gholston laughed.
“I don`t think it would go that way,” he said. “It would be a little different, probably much more grief. The fans down here are much more passionate and all those things, which is one reason why I came down here.”