|Updated: 10/30/2011 4:31 pm
||Published: 10/29/2011 3:23 pm
Whether it's a Razorback, Rebel, Bulldog or Commodore, you can't label a player "dirty" by looking at just one play.
Arkansas freshman Marquel Wade leveled a Vanderbilt punt returner, celebrated the hit, then was promptly ejected.
The Vanderbilt player NEVER signaled a fair catch and looked like he was about to field the football. Wade, a true freshman wide receiver, decked him. Was it a penalty? Sure, that's why they threw the flag, but it was far from malicious, and certainly not premeditated. Besides, the ejection wasn't for the hit, it was for Wade's reaction.
After the play, Wade celebrated the big hit. Also a penalty, but nothing outlandish. He didn't stand over the Vanderbilt player, he didn't point, he didn't taunt. He was just reacting to making a play. The NCAA, and specifically the SEC, has made a point to crack down on post-play celebration. Whether it's right or wrong doesn't matter, Wade should know better, but it doesn't make him "dirty."
I saw a talented, but inexperienced freshman who exhibited poor judgment on one play.
For me that's not enough to brand someone as "dirty," "cheap," or a "thug."