Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
Wade must sit Saturday
FAYETTEVILLE SEC Commissioner Mike Slive announced Tuesday a one game suspension for Arkansas freshman Marquel Wade based on his flagrant foul and ejection during Saturday’s 31-28 victory at Vanderbilt.
Wade, who apologized for his actions at Arkansas’ weekly news conference Monday, will miss the No. 7 Razorbacks’ game against No. 9 South Carolina at Reynolds Razorback Stadium on Saturday.
Slive noted that Wade not only committed a flagrant foul by hitting Vanderbilt’s Jonathan Krause before he could catch a punt, he also led with the crown of his helmet.
Shortly after Slive’s announcement Tuesday, Arkansas Coach Bobby Petrino released a brief statement that read: “We have addressed the matter and will comply with the league’s decision.”
Wade, 5-11, 185 pounds, leads the SEC and ranks 12th in the country in kickoff returns with an average of 29.6 yards per return.
Video of the violent collision, which left Krause dazed on the field for a minute or so, had been watched more than 100,000 times on YouTube as of Tuesday afternoon.
Wade, of Jacksonville, Fla., was ejected following the incident at the 9:32 mark of the third quarter by referee Marc Curles’ crew, and Krause returned later in the game.
“I really want to apologize for any embarrassment I did for the fans, also for the organization,” Wade said Monday. “Any situation I get into, whatever they say, I’ve got to take what I did and just go with it.”
Wade said he didn’t realize his hit was illegal as he made it.
“I thought I just made a good play,” he said. “That’s all I can say about that.”
Petrino said Wade’s reaction to the illegal hit - a celebration that seemed to emphasize Wade did not know what he had done - was what bothered him the most.
Freshman Keante Minor took Wade’s spot as a deep man on the Razorbacks’ kickoff return team, along with Dennis Johnson, after Wade’s ejection.
Sports, Pages 19 on 11/02/2011