Florida State will be without starting safety Trey Marshall for the first half of the much-anticipated 2017 season opener against top-ranked Alabama, and Jimbo Fisher is still angry about the reason why.
Marshall, who was flagged for targeting during the second half of the Seminoles’ Orange Bowl victory over Michigan in January, will serve the usual one-half suspension next month.
“I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous,” Fisher said, according to Brendan Sonnone of the Orlando Sentinel. “If a senior got that penalty, the team is not punished the next year. It’s a different year, different game, different everything. Years are different. They should not carry over. I think that’s one of the most ridiculous rules.”
Does anyone actually disagree with Fisher?
There is simply no reason Marshall shouldn’t be lining up alongside Derwin James when the FSU defense takes the field. Sure, the senior will return in the second half, but it is indeed ridiculous Marshall must wait an extra 30 minutes due to a penalty that happened last season.
Perhaps the first defense of the rule is, “well, if there’s no suspension, players will just target everyone in the bowl games!” That doesn’t make sense, since they’d still be flagged and ejected from the contest. No reasonable player wants to remove himself.
The NCAA Football Rules Committee ought to sit down and eliminate the carryover punishment. It makes sense to uphold during the regular season, but if a senior is ejected for targeting, his college team isn’t required to sit a returning starter at the position.
In the meantime, the ‘Noles will likely turn to A.J. Westbrook or Nate Andrews as Marshall’s one-half replacement.
USC linebacker Cameron Smith and Miami linebacker Michael Pinckney will also serve brief suspensions after being disqualified in the second half of their respective bowl games.