Let's see...The Florida center so has to be an Arkansas defensive lineman right? Although "racial slurs" can be hurled by anyone of any race you'd think that greatest offense, especially one that warranted pleading for relief or issuing a response, would be taken by the young man if it comes from someone of a different race. Curious that Arkansas has no white D linemen....Or maybe a linebacker? Tape review shows him mouthing with Jarret Lake, a 22 year old Senior linebacker who is also black, just prior to Harrison being flagged and ejected. Sounds like he may be doing a bit of embellishing of the story in order to justify aggressively approaching and complaining/arguing with the ref about physical play, ie being "face-masked"
Back on October 5th, Florida center Jon Harrison was ejected from the Gators’ 30-10 win at Arkansas. He was booted for touching an official, which is the kind of no-no that will always get you tossed, no questions asked.
Until yesterday, Harrison hadn’t opened up about why he touched said official. But yesterday he did explain what happened:
“What happened was, one play I got face-masked, then the next play I got called every version of the ‘N-word” known to man. And I went to the red and I’m like, ‘Ref, please, you have to control this player. He’s been calling me every racial slur.’
I talk with my hands as you guys probably have seen this whole time and I touched the ref in his chest. I didn’t poke him, but I was talking like this (waving his hands).
I didn’t even know I got ejected. I was sitting on the sideline talking to the coach and I heard my number, and they just walked me off the field. There was no malicious intent. I wasn’t trying to be an A-hole or anything like that. I was honestly just trying to tell the ref to get his play because I was getting attacked, I felt like I was getting harassed, and it was beyond football.
Calling me the N-word and everything is not football anymore. It is just going out of your way.”
A few thoughts:
1. If this happened, the Arkansas players got their wish. They harassed Harrison in an ugly way and he reacted. His reaction got him ejected. Advantage: Arkansas. (For those who’ve seen the movie, “Fast Break,” there’s a particular scene that comes to mind.)
2. By going public with this story, Harrison has just let every opponent Florida still has left on the table that they can get to him by using racial epithets. Unfair, but true.
3. Whether this tactic worked or not, it doesn’t look good for Arkansas. Harrison is right, there’s no need for that kind of stuff in college football (or anywhere else in 21st century). Perhaps if the Razorbacks had spent more time tackling and less time making racist fools of themselves they wouldn’t have been embarrassed by one of the SEC’s worst offenses.
4. With this story now in the press it becomes a distraction for a Razorback team that’s already riding a seven-game losing streak. Consider that Harrison’s revenge. Bret Bielema will now be asked about this. Worse, some players in the Arkansas locker room might start asking some questions of one another. Think “Riley Cooper.”
5. This is a particularly ugly kind of incident if true. Will the Southeastern Conference — ever mindful of its reputation — involve itself in some way? Will Mike Slive need to make a comment? Here’s guessing no. The ex-attorney will likely try to remain mum, not feed the fire by commenting on it, and pray that it falls off the media radar quickly.
Don’t underestimate the potential for this story — which is now drawing national attention — to be used as a negative recruiting tool against Arkansas and/or against SEC teams in general.
Yeah, yeah, this goes on everywhere. We know what you’re thinking. But that’s not that point. Coaches will use anything they can to dissuade a prospect from signing elsewhere. And if you think some Big Ten or Big 12 coach won’t say, “Don’t go to Dixie, they’ll call you the N-word,” you’re out of your ever-lovin’ mind. It might not work, but I’d bet you cold cash money that some coach will bring it up on the recruiting trail over the next two months. Guaranteed.