DENVER - Western Athletic Conference Commissioner Karl Benson today handed down a half-game suspension to Boise State football player Winston Venable as a result of a flagrant foul he committed against an Oregon State player in last Saturday's game played in Boise that was not called by the game officials.
Benson originally penalized Venable for one game, but the decision was appealed by Boise State and reduced to a half-game by the WAC Sportsmanship Committee.
"After reviewing this play, it was determined that a flagrant personal foul should have been called by the game officials which would have resulted in the player being ejected" said Benson.
The play occurred at the 9:30 mark of the third quarter when Oregon State's James Rodgers was attempting to block for the quarterback on a scramble and was hit helmet-to-helmet by Venable. Rodgers left the game with a concussion.
Further Benson said, "By NCAA rules, I am required to review these types of situations and it was determined that the player clearly committed a flagrant foul, and thus will be suspended. Protecting a defenseless player from a hit to the head has been a point of emphasis for the past few years and cannot be tolerated even if it goes undetected by the game officials."
Venable will be suspended for the first half of this week's game at New Mexico State, Saturday, Oct. 2.