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Volume 72, Issue 34, Friday, October 6, 2006

Sports

Five-game suspension not strong enough

Crystal Baller

Louie Vera 

Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth was given a mere five-game suspension for stomping on the head of Dallas Cowboys center Andre Gurodes, opening, and a gash that required 30 stitches.

Some writers and players said the punishment fit the crime just because of the defensive tackle's contriteness following the game.

All right, before delving into Haynesworth's sincerity, let's backtrack to his past.

In a 2003 training camp practice, he kicked former teammate Justin Hartwig in the chest when Hartwig was on the ground. 

As a sophomore at Tennessee, an altercation with a teammate prompted Haynesworth to leave practice only to return with a long pole in search of tackle Will Ofenheusle. 

Luckily, Tennessee's head coach intervened, and no one was hurt.

After Sunday's stomping, Haynesworth went on to scream at the referee for throwing him out of the game.

Baffling.

What if his cleat would have hit Gurode's eye, jeopardizing his career? 

Todd Bertuzzi of the Toronto Maple Leafs was suspended for half a season by the NHL, which included the playoffs, after sucker-punching Steve Moore of the Colorado Avalanche. 

The brutal hit broke Moore's neck, ended his season and could have very well ended his days playing hockey.

Sacramento Kings forward Ron Artest was given a similar suspension as an Indiana Pacer when he went into the stands, wildly throwing punches at fans after a drink was thrown at him. NBA commissioner David Stern didn't let Artest play for the rest of the season.

New NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should have put the hammer down and suspended Haynesworth for the rest of the season. 

Once someone crosses the line to the extent Haynesworth did, there should be a severe punishment for the act. A five-game suspension does not fit the bill.

Send comments to dcsports@mail.uh.edu

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