Did Weis pull a fast one??
EAST LANSING - John L. Smith wanted to look ahead to Illinois at his weekly press conference Monday, but lingering issues from the Notre Dame game still took center stage.
John L. Smith made it clear during Monday's press conference that Charlie Weis' accusation that a Spartan player had struck him during a scrum on the sideline was baseless. The Spartans have lodged an official complaint with the Big Ten over the way Saturday's officiating crew handled the situation.
Controversy was a by-product of Saturday's game and a still developing storyline was addressed at the onset of Smith's press conference, as the Michigan State sports information staff played clips of the controversial sideline play when Spartan quarterback Drew Stanton was pushed out of bounds and under the Notre Dame bench with a late hit.
Notre Dame was given a personal foul on the play. But Spartan wide receiver Matt Trannon received an unsportsmanlike penalty for trying to retrieve his quarterback from the Irish sideline.
Trannon was not hit with the penalty until Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis told officials that that he had been slapped in the face by a Michigan State player. Video replays were shown from multiple angles during Monday's press conference. None of those replays back up Weis's accusation.
What the replays did clearly show was Weis complaining to officials that he had been slapped by a Spartan player. The video also shows a Notre Dame graduate assistant or administrator physically grabbing and pulling away three Michigan State players from the bench area.
That unnamed administrator first pulled away Kerry Reed. He then came up behind Javon Ringer and pulled him off of the sideline before grabbing Trannon from behind and pulling his helmet off. .
"I am not going to call anyone a liar," said Smith. "You look at the film. That's not for me to say. You go and look at the film. I'll stick up for our guys. They didn't throw a punch. Our quarterback was under their bench and they went over there to protect our quarterback."
Stanton, who was in the middle of the melee, didn't see any punches thrown either.
"I was actually under their bench," said Stanton. "I heard a voice telling me to stay down. My guys just came over to help me out."
What irked Smith the most about the play was the late flag on Trannon.
"They (the referees) listened to a **** and bull story and changed the call," said Smith. "Matt just went in there and tried to get our guy out and then the officials make the call wrong."
Michigan State has lodged a complaint with the Big Ten for the way the incident was handled by officials. The Spartans believe the Notre Dame administrator involved in the incident with Trannon, Ringer, and Reed should be admonished for his lack of self restraint.
Smith would not say what he thinks should happen to the the Irish staffer. But he added that if one of his coaches or administrative personnel took part in unprofessional behavior on the sideline during a game, that person would have to face consequences.
I only caught parts of the MSU-ND Game on Saturday night and missed this incident that occured but if Weis actually did this and pulled it off he's really sunk to pathetic depths in order to get an advantage in a game.