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Getting ejected for a solid boxout???

For those who may have missed it, Michigan had a narrow lead just over two minutes into the second half at Purdue this afternoon, and then it all quickly went down the drain.  With the Maize and Blue working on offense, a pass was swung around to Manny Harris on the perimeter, with Harris facing away from the basket.  In the process of catching the ball he rotated his arms through to turn to face the basket.  This was not a special or abnormal movement in and of itself.  Unfortunately, Purdue's Kramer was checking Harris  from approximately 1 inch away with his face very closely.  So when Harris swung through, his elbow caught Kramer in the nose (who quickly went to the floor) and what transpired next could only be aptly described as a sham of officiating.    There's no doubt in this writer's mind that the subsequent officiating decision was mainly driven by what occurred in Columbus several days ago.  Problem being, the situations couldn't possibly be any more different.

The fact that someone caught an elbow in a face during a basketball game is hardly surprising, these kinds of INCIDENTAL elbows happen ALL THE TIME... but what followed was new to me and probably new to Coach Beilein: after some deliberation, the officials ended up ejecting Manny Harris....

That's right, ejected... for an incidental elbow.  Ejected.

Now then, I'm not going to argue that Michigan deserved to win this game and was jobbed out of a rightful victory by this action, but to say that the tide turned elsewhere is an out and out lie.  After Harris was sent to the locker-room, Purdue proceeded to go on a 27-7 run that put the game on ice, Michigan shot 2 for its next 10 and gave the ball away 5 times.  Naturally Kramer returned to the game a short while later, mask in tow, and proceeded to play as though nothing had happened whatsoever...

The same frustrating themes from the last several weeks of Big 10 play remain for this Michigan team: poor to awful shooting, poor shot selection, little movement on offense, careless turnovers, and a complete inability to consistently find high-percentage shots absolutely hamstring this team time and again.  Without an inside presence and consistent scorer there are already too many obstacles to overcome before losing your floor leader and best player.  Make no mistake, the way we played, we deserved to lose this basketball game.

What draws my ire here is the way the situation was handled by the officials.  That is to say completely butchered.  Call a foul, explain what happened to both coaches, watch it on replay for all I care, but to eject the player when absolutely no intent whatsoever was involved??? Ridiculous.  What say you NCAA rulebook?

When during the course of play, an individual strikes an opponent
with the hand, elbow, arm, foot, knee or leg in a non-confrontational manner
but the act is excessive or severe, it shall be ruled as a flagrant foul and not
a fighting action. When a defined body part is used to strike an opponent
but the contact is not severe or excessive, a judgment shall be made by the
official as to whether the contact is intentional. [...]

Art. 7. The following shall be considered excessive swinging:
a. When arm(s) and elbow(s) are swung about while using the shoulders
as pivots, and the speed of the extended arm(s) and elbow(s) exceeds
that of the rest of the body as it rotates on the hips or on the pivot
foot; or
b. When the speed and vigor with which the arm(s) and elbow(s)
are swung is such that injury could result if another player were
contacted.

Here's another interesting tidbit or two...

Art. 3. Action of arm(s) and elbow(s) resulting from total body movement
as in pivoting or movement of the ball incidental to feinting with it,
releasing it, or moving it to prevent a held ball or loss of control shall not
be considered excessive.

Art. 6. When a player approaches an opponent from behind or a position
from which the player has no reasonable chance to play the ball without
making contact with the opponent, the responsibility for contact shall be
that of the player in the unfavorable position.

Watch the replays, form your own opinions, and feel free to tell me if there's any possible way you can justify sending Manny Harris out of this basketball game for what happened.

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