BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Seems like it’s the penalty heard 'round the world.
LSU’s star linebacker - arguably one of the most vital members of the team this season - Devin White, will miss the first half of the “big game” next weekend against Alabama after he was flagged for targeting against Mississippi State last weekend.
Fans have been up in arms about the call and the suspension. Some say the Tigers' win in Death Valley last Saturday was completely overshadowed - the celebrations, muted by one play and one whistle, one flag and one call. Tiger fans have raised over $6,000 to put up #FreeDevinWhite billboards in Alabama. They paid to have a banner be flown over the Georgia/Florida game on Saturday.
On Friday, SEC analyst Tim Tebow joined ESPN’s “First Take” and said SEC commissioner Greg Sankey should do something about the suspension.
“It’s so ridiculous, it truly is,” Tebow said. “I do think that we do need to take care of players and we should have fouls for when people are truly trying to hurt someone else and truly going to the head or neck area. He barely touched him with his facemask, you could see he was trying to pull off. He is the second best player on the field. It’s Tua Tagovailoa and Devin White, by far. He is the best linebacker in the country, in my opinion. He goes sideline to sideline, he’s the tone-setter.
“Pretty much what the ref said is ‘hey LSU we’re taking out your best player, good luck against Alabama,’ it’s ridiculous. I don’t think refs should have that responsibility. I think either the SEC commissioner or the NCAA should come in and let Devin play, because you are truly changing the season for LSU and for Alabama by not letting him play. I think it’s ridiculous and the NCAA should step in because it’s a stupid rule.”
However, rules are rules and it’s unlikely anything will change between now and kickoff, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Nov. 3. There isn’t an appeals process outside of the review that happens on the field. If referee John McDaid says it was targeting, it was targeting.