football

Spikes shouldn't be suspended for eye gouge, Ealey says

November 4, 2009 

A most unlikely person came to the defense of Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes, who was suspended for half a game for apparently trying to gouge the eyes of Georgia running back Washaun Ealey

Ealey said Tuesday he doesn't believe Spikes should have been suspended. In fact, Ealey seemed surprised the play from Saturday's game drew so much attention.

Florida Coach Urban Meyer on Monday suspended Spikes for the first half of this week's game against Vanderbilt after the defensive captain stuck his hand in Ealey's helmet and appeared to try to stick his fingers in Ealey's eyes.

"That really didn't matter to me," Ealey said of the suspension. "That's their decision. He shouldn't, I think, get suspended at all. We were just out there playing football."

Ealey said he had his eyes closed when Spikes stuck his hand in his helmet and he wasn't hurt.

"He really didn't gouge my eyes," Ealey said. "He really didn't get a chance to get close to my eyes."

Etheridge wants to play

Auburn safety Zac Etheridge said he feels blessed to be able to walk after a serious neck injury and expects to play football again. With his neck immobilized by a brace, Etheridge spoke to reporters and teammates Tuesday, three days after sustaining an injury in the Mississippi game that landed him in a hospital for two nights.

Etheridge said his fifth vertebra was cracked and he tore ligaments in his neck, but he wants to play again, and doctors told him he should be able to. He has to wear the brace, a harness-like device with a support under his chin and running up the back of his neck, for three to four months.

FSU coordinator resigning

Veteran defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews is hanging up his whistle after 47 years of coaching, including 26 with the Seminoles. The architect of some of the nation's best defenses that helped Florida State win a pair of national titles in the 1990s, Andrews announced his decision Tuesday in a handwritten statement.

"Because of a lot of speculation and questioning from friends, family and media, we decided to go ahead and do it now," Andrews said. "It's time to be about us, my family."

A star at Alabama under Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, Andrews developed 18 first round NFL Draft picks during 26 seasons at Florida State, beginning with cornerback Deion Sanders in 1989.

Reesing keeps starting job

Todd Reesing is still the starting quarterback at Kansas after being benched during last week's game. Pulled in the fourth quarter of his last start, Reesing will be back under center when the Jayhawks face Big 12 North-leading Kansas State on Saturday.

The senior said Tuesday that while he was surprised when Coach Mark Mangino replaced him with Kale Pick in the Jayhawks' 42-21 loss to Texas Tech, he accepts the decision and is ready to move on.

Around the nation

Notre Dame: Star receiver Michael Floyd will play against Navy on Saturday, six weeks after breaking his left collarbone. Coach Charlie Weis said Tuesday that the 6-foot-3, 220-pound sophomore was cleared to play Monday for the No. 19 Irish.

Floyd was second in the nation in receiving yards at 160 yards a game when he broke his left collarbone trying to make a catch against Michigan State on Sept. 19 in the third game of the season.

Nebraska: Defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh has been disciplined by the team after being ticketed for negligent driving for ramming three parked cars with his sport utility vehicle over the weekend. Suh, a fifth-year senior and a leading contender for the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award, told police he swerved to avoid hitting a dog or cat crossing the street and hit the first of three cars on a Lincoln street. Police said Suh had alcohol in his system, but he tested well below the legal limit. Coach Bo Pelini said Tuesday that he would not make public the nature of Suh's punishment.

Cincinnati: Quarterback Tony Pike had X-rays on Tuesday that showed his non-passing arm is healing nicely from surgery, another step toward getting him back to full practice with fourth-ranked Cincinnati. Pike expected to practice on Wednesday wearing a special splint instead of a bulky cast on the left forearm. Coach Brian Kelly said Pike could play Saturday against Connecticut for a short time, but he would prefer to wait.

Tennessee: Coach Lane Kiffin said there's no problem with receiver Nu'Keese Richardson, even though the freshman missed practice this week. Kiffin said after Sunday's practice that he was dealing with an issue related to Richardson. On Tuesday, he said it was a personal issue and had been taken care of.

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