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School On a Saturday - No Class

After Illinois beat Michigan State last weekend, the players in a spontaneous show of emotion grabbed an Illini flag and rushed to plant it at mid field in East Lansing. Then hilarity ensued as the two teams started a shoving match that lasted all the way to the locker room.

Today, the Big Ten conference has punished both schools by fining them $10,000 each. Yeah, that'll show them. Explain to me how taking away the equivalent of one student's tuition is going to teach them anything? Please.

Illinois head coach Ron Zook issued an apology after the game.

"As I told our football team, we are going to win and lose with class, regardless of what's happened in the past," Zook said. "That's not something that we are going to allow to happen. I will say this, I'm not trying to make any excuses: it was a spontaneous, emotional outbreak. It really was. It wasn't anything planned."

I'm sorry but I have very little respect for Ron Zook. The Big Ten warned teams last year this was unacceptable behavior. Didn't he talk to his players at all about winning gracefully? It has been two years since Illinois won a Big Ten game. Two years of walking off the field with a L's. And not once did anyone plant a flag in the Illini stadium. Not once did anyone rub it in their face after they beat them. Classy coaches preach to their players constantly about proper behavior. But Zook has taken that cocky state of Florida football swagger and planted it in Illinois. And now it infects the Big Ten.

Mind you not that ole Sparty is in the clear in this. They started the whole flag planting thing last year in South Bend. To further prove they have no class, they pathetically stood at mid field after imploding against Notre Dame waiting for them to play plant the flag on their turf. But Notre Dame, being the classy program they are, left the Spartan players standing alone in a moment both awkward and embarassing.

Photo from The M Zone

Then this week they lose to Illinois in a game they showed no emotion in. Then they start a scuffle after the game for doing something they felt was perfectly acceptable to do in South Bend. So while Illinois was wrong to plant the flag, Michigan State was wrong and hypocritical to confront them over it. So far I have yet to see an apology from John L. Smith.

Tweedle-dumb and Tweedle-dumber