A Northern Illinois football player has been suspended one game for gouging the eyes of an opposing team’s player over the weekend.
Huskies linebacker Antonio Jones-Davis received a one-game ban from coaches for gouging the eyes of San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny.
NIU coach Rod Carey released a statement on the incident, where despite the suspension he put some of the blame of San Diego State players for the chippy game:
Antonio’s action is not indicative of his character, nor that of our players or coaching staff, and does not reflect the values upon which our program has been built. Last night’s game was extremely hard-fought, it was emotional and it was a chippy game which, at times, crossed the line on both sides, as evidenced by the number of post-play penalties. However, Antonio’s action in that emotional moment was completely unacceptable, and he understands that he must face the consequences. He has taken full responsibility for his actions and voiced to me his disappointment in himself that he embarrassed the university and the football program.
The refs missed the eye-gouge; Jones-Davis was not penalized. Penny, who is averaging 164 yards a game this season, missed a few plays. “That stuff shouldn’t happen,” Penny told reporters postgame. “I thought we were all more mature than that.
Penny said Jones-Davis apologized to him earlier this week, and he accepted the apology. “He said he’s sorry and everything else,” Penny said. “The head coach did as well. It looks like a bad play. It’s high emotions... It’s really no grudges I have against anybody. I get up and smile after everything. Honestly, I think it made us better.”
The Aztecs beat Northern Illinois, 34-28. They are 5-0 and ranked No. 19 in the country.