STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WJZ) — Penn State defensive lineman Fred Hansard will be suspended for the first half of the team’s game against Michigan after he shoved Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa on the sidelines last Saturday, coach James Franklin said.
During the third quarter of the Terrapins-Nittany Lions game, television cameras showed Hansard, who was not in the game at that moment, shoving Tagovailoa to the ground after the quarterback ran out of bounds. Referees did not throw a penalty flag after the incident.READ MORE: Baltimore County Officer Opened Fire On Driver Trying To Flee Traffic Stop: Police
Tagovailoa was seen on the ground and in pain, but he managed to play the rest of the game.
During a press conference Tuesday, Franklin said that while the optics of the shove did not look good, he didn’t think Hansard intended to hurt the Terps signal-caller.
“I think it was a reaction,” he said. “But the end of the day, it’s not a good look, right?”READ MORE: Shootout Between Cars Speeding In Hampden Rattles Otherwise Quiet Neighborhood
On Monday night, Hansard posted a statement on his Twitter account saying the play “was an act of impulse, and not malice” and apologizing for “any unsportsmanlike behavior.”
— Fred Hansard (@Fred_Hansard53) November 8, 2021
He also apologized to teammate Rasheed Walker, an offensive lineman who also wears No. 53. Some fans apparently blamed Walker for the hit.
Maryland coach Mike Locksley reportedly said after Saturday’s 31-14 loss that he did not see the hit, but members of his coaching staff thought it should have been penalized.
The Big Ten conference reached out to see how Penn State was going to respond to the incident, Franklin said.MORE NEWS: ‘It’s Probably Everywhere’ Concern Grows About Omicron Covid Variant In Maryland As Positivity Rate Jumps Above 5%; Hogan To Speak Wednesday
“Fred’s been a class act since he got here,” Franklin said of the senior defensive tackle. “But I also understand when something like that happens, and it doesn’t look good, there needs to be a reaction. But I hope everyone understands that’s not who Fred Hansard is, and I want everybody to remember the four years and all the great things that he’s done both on and off the field, and as a student-athlete.”