Controversial Suspension of UM Grizzly Football Player Overturned
"AFTER FURTHER REVIEW..." Or, after at least some kind of belated review after the fact, a wrong was made right.
A dark cloud appeared to hang over the closing minutes of the Montana Grizzlies' 34-14 win over Idaho last Saturday. Sophomore nose tackle Alex Gubner, a Griz fan favorite, was ejected for a targeting call against Idaho's quarterback. Because the play occurred in the second half, by rule, Alex would be required to sit out the first half of Montana's home game against Southern Utah this Saturday. A brief suspension, to be sure. But by all accounts on TV replay, the officials got the call wrong.
This is where things got a bit dicey. A personal foul and subsequent targeting call (by rule, a player making “forcible contact against an opponent with the crown of their helmet” or “forcible contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent”) is subject to video review immediately after the conclusion of the play. But, the play couldn’t be reviewed to confirm or overturn at that time, as Idaho’s replay system wasn’t working.
The Missoulian and 406mtsports.com report that the Big Sky Conference and Big Sky Coordinator of Football Officials initiated the review process after the game. A national coordinator of officials informed the Big Sky today (Wednesday) that the call was overturned, and that Alex Gubner is eligible to compete in the first half of this week’s game.
Whether you're a biased Griz fan or not, anyone who saw the replay would have to agree with the reversal. It was a very hard, physical hit on the quarterback just as he was releasing the ball. But not with the crown of the helmet or to the head area.
So, we're happy to have a full-game Alex Gubner on the D-line for the Griz on Saturday against Southern Utah. Early start, fans, with a noon kickoff. Please remember to bring those new, unwrapped toys with you for the annual Griz for Kids Toy Drive.