I’ve located some shocking, amateur cellphone video of an Arizona State football player landing a LeGarrette Blount-like punch on a University of Arizona football player after the two teams met last Saturday.
(Video was pulled off Youtube, but animation still shows what happened)
After Alex Zendejas kicked a last-second field goal to give the Wildcats the 20-17 win over the Sun Devils, players from both teams streamed together at midfield, and that’s when it got ugly.
Bear with the cellphone video, it stabilizes around 1:12, when you can clearly see Arizona long snapper Ricky Wolder shove Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict from behind. Burfict then responds by turning around and punching Wolder. The blow had so much force behind it that it also appeared to glance off of kicker Zendejas.
UPDATE (6:43pm PT) : As you can see, the video was pulled off of Youtube but my animated gif above still remains - which still clearly indicates what happened. So nothing has changed.
An ASU assistant coach then jumps in to confront Wolder and Zendejas, followed by an Arizona assistant coach directing the players to get off the field.
The EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE reported on the punch late Saturday night, but ASU coach Dennis Erickson said he didn’t see anything at the time. This video shows exactly what happened.
In the case of Blount’s postgame punch, Boise State player Byron Hout said something to the Oregon running back to incite Blount to swing at him. But Hout was turning away from Blount when the running back clearly sucker-punched him.
In this situation, Wolder and Zendejas can certainly can be cited as instigators. Zendejas was clearly talking trash to Burdict and then Wolder pushed Burdict from behind.
(Wolder (l) shoved Burfict who was also taunted by Zendejas (r))
All of the acts are inexcusable and all players should be punished. Should Burfict receive more punishment? Yes, as his move was by far the most violent, but I wouldn’t classify his punch as being as quite as bad at what Blount did. And unlike Blount’s subsequent outrageous behavior, the crowd was no way involved in this situation.
The Pac-10 has been mum about the violent confrontation, but now that there’s video of what happened, will they take action? Just in case they haven’t seen the tape, I’ve taken the liberty of emailing the video link to the Pac-10 offices.
Here’s who was emailed:
Larry Scott: Commissioner
Jim Muldoon: Associate Commissioner, Communications and Football Administration
Ron Barker: Associate Commissioner, Governance and Enforcement
Duane Lindberg: Associate Commissioner, Electronic Communications
Natalia Ciccone: Assistant Commissioner, Communications
Tammy Newman: Assistant Commissioner, Governance and Enforcement
We’ll see what their response is. Stay tuned.