Gholston suspended for Badgers game

The Big Ten has suspended Michigan State defensive end William Gholston for Saturday’s game against No. 4 Wisconsin after he threw a punch at a Michigan player last weekend.

The 15th-ranked Spartans beat Michigan 28-14 on Saturday. Gholston was shown on video appearing to twist the helmet of Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson during a pileup. He was also shown taking a swing at a Michigan lineman on another play, appearing to connect with his face or neck.

"I deeply regret momentarily losing my composure late in the third quarter of last Saturday’s game against Michigan," Gholston said Thursday in a statement released by the school. "Although provoked, my response was inappropriate. Coach Dantonio regularly reminds us that actions have consequences, and I will be better prepared to handle these circumstances in the future."

Losing Gholston is a blow for Michigan State (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten), whose stout defense will be tested by Wisconsin (6-0, 2-0) on Saturday night. Gholston has 20 tackles in six games this year, and is second on the team with seven tackles for a loss.

"In the heat of the moment, he momentarily lost his composure," coach Mark Dantonio said. "Football is an emotional game of split-second reactions. It was an unfortunate incident."

Athletic director Mark Hollis praised Dantonio and the coaching staff for "immediately pulling" Gholston out of the game to talk with him.

"Our coaching staff and players respect the game, and our players are taught to play the game the right way," Dantonio said. "During the course of a contest, there are individual confrontations that sometimes escalate. The stakes – as well as the emotions – are always a little higher in a rivalry game. We will continue to stress the importance of maintaining one’s composure."