Arkansas receiver Marquel Wade — ejected for an over-the-top flagrant hit on Vanderbilt punt return Jonathan Krause on Saturday — deserves a full-game suspension from the SEC.
As we’ve seen this season, Mike Slive usually hands down half-game suspension for fighting, flagrant fouls, cheap shots, etc. But Wade’s hit on Krause Saturday wasn’t a chop block to the knees or a haymaker thrown in anger… it was a dirty lick that could have left Krause seriously injured. Or worse.
After the hit, Wade celebrated as Krause lay on the ground. After his ejection, Wade had to be escorted to the Razorbacks’ locker room.
Krause eventually got up and returned to the game. He was lucky.
After the game, Bobby Petrino said that he didn’t see the hit. “It sounded like he hit him — the ball wasn’t even close to the returner. We have to be able to look up and recognize where the ball is and get away from him.”
But Wade needs a game off courtesy of the SEC office. Football is a brutal sport and good and bad decisions are made in milliseconds. This was not just a bad decision.
Wade launched himself into a defenseless punt returner. Then he celebrated the hit as his victim stayed on the ground. Then he seemed angry about his ejection.
It appears to us that he needs more time to come to a full understanding that the hit and the post-hit behavior aren’t acceptable and that the ejection was absolutely appropriate.
Not surprisingly, there are defenses of Wade’s act floating around the internet today. “Aw, he didn’t mean anything by it.” Nonsense. To anyone without a stake in Saturday’s game that is nonsense.
And to anyone who doesn’t think defending Wade is utter nonsense, please remove the plastic pig from off thy head and ask yourself what you would be saying today if a Vanderbilt gunner had launched himself helmet-first into the head of Arkansas return man Joe Adams… after he’d already signaled for a fair catch.
That’s what we thought.
Wade deserves a full week suspension. Such action would send a message to the player and to every other punt team gunner in the SEC — you can hit and hit hard… but you can’t hit dirty.