In the world of college football, it’s often hard to justify calling a school’s “spring game” a game at all, and more often than not, the scrimmages amount to little more than glorified open practices.
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So, needless to say, it’s virtually impossible to get ejected from one, regardless of what you do.
But after absolutely obliterating his own teammate with a hit in Auburn’s spring game on Saturday, Tigers junior cornerback Jonathon Mincy forever cemented his status as the exception to that rule.
In the third quarter of the Tigers’ A-Day scrimmage in front of a school-record 83,401 fans at Jordan–Hare Stadium, Mincy leveled defenseless backup receiver Dimitri Reese on a screen pass, earning a 15-yard penalty and an ejection for targeting Reese above the shoulders.
You can see the hit in the video below:
Though the ejection may have seemed harsh, the referees were just following the rules. Targeting fouls, by rule, will lead to an automatic ejection under a new directive implemented for the 2013 season.
Of course, the rule also allows for replay review of questionable hits to determine whether the player in question should be ejected. And in slow motion, the hit didn’t appear as blatant or illegal as it did in real time. So Mincy likely wouldn’t have been tossed from a real game had the play been reviewed.
But regardless of whether the act was ejection-worthy, lighting up your own teammate is never a good look, and Mincy surely got an earful about it from new Tigers coach Gus Malzhan after the game. Though when he talked to local reporters, Malzhan seemed more caught up in the field position his defense gave up.
"Fifteen yards are unacceptable," Malzahn told Al.com when asked about the penalty. "I promise you this, that will be corrected."