With Ohio State holding a 20-point lead late in the second half of Wednesday night's game with Northwestern, Buckeye center Amir Williams and Wildcat forward Nikola Cerina danced the baseline tussle leading Cerina to throw – and fail to connect on – a punch.
Ohio State forward LaQuinton Ross rushes in to get his teammate's back, shoving Cerina and Northwestern's Drew Crawford for good measure.
Ross was ejected for his part in the scuffle, as was Cerina. For throwing a punch, Cerina will also have to sit out Northwestern's next game. The statement from Ray Perone, the lead official in the game:
“By rule, No. 45 [Nikola Cerina] for Northwestern after he committed the common foul, a push on No. 23 [Amir Williams], took a swing with a closed fist or closed hand at No. 23 for Ohio State. That act is deemed to be fighting by rule, which is Rule 10, Section 5, Article 8: ‘Any time an individual uses a closed fist in an unsportsmanlike manner it shall be deemed that the individual has initiated a fighting act and be penalized accordingly.’ He does not have to make contact – the fact he swings with a closed fist is deemed to be a fighting act. No. 45 for Northwestern was disqualified for fighting and that carries a penalty (Rule 10, Section 5, Article 11): ‘The first time an individual participates in a fight during the season the individual shall be suspended from participating in the team’s next regular season game.’ No. 10 [LaQuinton Ross] for Ohio State was disqualified for two deadball contact technical fouls, which results in disqualification. No. 10 was not disqualified for fighting and will not be suspended for the next game.”
The moral: If you feel the need to scrap, never punch, always shove.