On today’s episode of let’s overreact, we have a story about a staff member at Youngstown State.
Tim Johnson, the director of player personnel at YSU, has been banned from the team’s sidelines for the rest of the season. This banishment comes after he bumped into a Northern Iowa player who went out of bounds on Saturday.
I don’t know about you, but the punishment for this seems way over the top. Have a look at the video yourself.
— UNI Football (@UNIFootball) February 27, 2021
This is another classic example of people seeing what they want to see.
When I watch the clip, I see a coach standing far enough back in the coaches box. He’s got his hands in his pocket, while the defender chasing the ball carrier out of bounds gave a slight nudge. That combination was going to create contact — as unfortunate as it may be.
Now, what bothers some people is Johnson dipping his shoulder into the player. Once again, I see a guy whose quick reaction — in a defenseless position with his hands in his pockets — is to brace for inevitable impact.
Could Johnson have had a better reaction? Sure, but people saying it was vicious and intentional are being a little excessive.
Johnson is a former Youngstown State linebacker who went on to play for the Bears, Raiders and Ravens in the NFL. He’s also a stout fellow, and we see the result of all of those factors combined on that video.
We’ve seen this happen before, too.
Referees have accidentally done it, including back in 2008 when a ref lit up a South Carolina quarterback. Heck, even an NFL referee has done it. The results weren’t as bad, but bracing for impact is a natural reaction.
If Johnson would’ve had more time, who knows what his reaction would’ve been. But I don’t believe his intentions were to be dirty or to hurt the player. Regardless, it was a bad look and deserved some sort of punishment.
But to ban him from the sidelines for the rest of the season — with six of the eight games remaining? Folks, that is excessive.
Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.