Blog Entry

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

Posted on: December 16, 2011 10:54 am
Edited on: December 16, 2011 2:48 pm
By Will Brinson

The NFL denied Harrison's appeal of his one-game suspension(Getty Images)

Steelers linebacker James Harrison was suspended one game by the NFL this week. He also filed an expedited appeal, and the NFL announced on Friday that his appeal was denied, meaning Harrison will miss the Steelers game against San Francisco Monday.

James Harrison suspended

It's hardly a surprise that Harrison's suspension held up, although because of the way of the hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy unfolded (McCoy became a runner and then decided to pass at the last second), there was a possibility of the punishment being overturned.

"It is clear from the video that you squared up and led with the crown of your helmet when you contacted Colt McCoy," on-field appeals officer Ted Cottrell, who heard the appeal, said in a letter to Harrison. "This is precisely the technique that you must avoid using as a defender. I have determined that your actions were particularly egregious and warranted the discipline imposed by Ray Anderson."

The linebacker's history of violent and/or flagrant hits (the NFL says Harrison's been punished five times for illegal hits on a quarterback) contributed to his punishment and clearly the appeal as well.

 "I'm not surprised. You're appealing to the same people who put the suspension in place, so no, I'm not surprised at all," Steelers safety Ryan Clark said. "I don't care about the league's message anymore. It's about us as a football team playing the type of football that's going to help us win championships, despite who gets suspended, despite who gets fined.

"We're going to try to play within the rules. We're going to stop fighting this battle of talking to them. That's what this is about."

Harrison's hit on McCoy led to plenty of controversy -- not only with Harrison's suspension and Mike Tomlin telling Steelers players to keep quiet, either. McCoy was never checked for a concussion and re-entered the game.

Additionally, the NFL is reportedly set to start handing out lengthy suspensions for on-field violations.

"Like I said on Wednesday, my disappointment is for James," Clark said. "He's been trying really hard to comply with what's being asked of him. For him to be suspended for this situation, to us, is disheartening. To me, it was a between-the-whistle play. They're making an example out of him for it this year. I don't think it's right.

"We have to continue playing and just roll with the punches and try to win games without one of our best players."

Harrison's suspension was the first for an "illegal hit" and he could potentially miss multiple games if he doesn't change his approach to playing defense.

"Oh well. It is what it is," Harrison told Josina Anderson of ESPN. "That's the decision I was expecting anyways. I'll deal with it and move on."

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Since: Nov 1, 2006
Posted on: December 16, 2011 1:41 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

BOOM, every player in the NFL who is worth his weight tries to HIT his opponent as hard as he possibly can. That is the name of the game. None of them attempt to truly injure anyone. If Harrison pops McCoy it teaches McCoy to be very afraid if you decide to run the ball. I am defending Harrison and don't care what anyone thinks about it. Doug Plank and Gary Fencik (Bears 1985) used to hit people so hard they would knock themselves unconscious in games. If the opponents don't like Harrison's methods there are ways to get him back on the field, where this type of police-ing should take place. Not the NFL's front office because they never mete out punishment fairly or appropriately. As this game becomes more and more sissy-like, and players are offered more and more protections, i.e. you can't hit anyone at all, let the metro-sexuals fill the stands and wave their pink flags to tune of " I am Woman hear me Roar."

Since: Oct 6, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 1:32 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

Instead of suspending him, there is a much easier solution. Just make him play without a helmet on from here on out. I'm pretty sure that would get him to adjust his tackling technique.

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: December 16, 2011 1:25 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Jan 7, 2009
Posted on: December 16, 2011 1:22 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

I cannot believe the people defending Harrison. He goes out of his way to injure. Using the crown of his helmet. It wasn't a bang, bang play. He was running at McCoy, and DELIBERATELY lowered his helmet to inflict as much damage as possible. It had nothing to do with tackling. It was a spear job. Done with intent.
The players are bigger, faster and stronger than they were, even 20 years ago. The league is trying to make sure nobody dies on national TV. You people with your headhunter attitudes, are laughable. The league is evolving. It's trying to be about football, not kill shots. Trying to eliminate concussions is a good thing. I for one am tired of hearing about a former player who died at 45, 50, 55 years old. Because of the violence of football.
I especially love the comments "but it was legal then". But it's NOT legal now. If these players cannot figure out that they cannot spear, use the crown of their helmets, cannot hit defenseless players, or stomp them, then maybe it's time for the hammer to come down hard. No more fines. Go straight to suspensions. This will stop it. Because players will get hit hard in the pocketbook, they seem to be able to grasp the concept of notgetting money.

Since: Feb 7, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2011 1:19 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

Yes it is too bad that Harrison has to miss one game because he cannot seem to change the way he there any sympathy for all the other players who miss (more than) one game because of this? Where is their sympathy from Steeler fans?

Since: Aug 19, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 1:04 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

Personally, it is a good thing this "case" did not arrive before ME because the penalty would have been "unlimited" suspension - as long as Colt McCoy is out PLUS one game !!!!!!
Please, again Harrison was the 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. All he's doing is playing like he did when he won Player of the Year. This is what the NFL should do. Make a definitive, clear, unambiguous announcement that they are changing the rules. Then clearly state what the rules are, then eforce them CONSISTENTLY and fairly.   next the NFL should tell ESPN to stop doing the "Jacked UP" segment as they are glorifying these types of hits.  Tell every network to stop showing the devesting hits on an endless loop every Sunday, thereby removing part of a players motivation to make a highlight reel.  Then immediately stop selling and     round-up and destroy all copies of the "Greatest Hits" DVD's that they were hawking, as recently as last year.
Goodeele should stop trying to change the rules while telling everyone he's not trying to change the rules. Just own up Goodeele, everyone will respect you more for it.
If young Mr. Harrison's suspension appeal "case" appeared before ME. I'd have overturned it.  I would though suspend the Browns entire coaching and training staff for not checking Colt McCoy for a concussion after that play, and I'd suspend Mike Holmgren for coming up with such an idiotic explanation as to why the trainers didn't check Colt for a concussion during the game. They are the real villians here.

Since: Nov 14, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 1:03 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

It is what it is and the league is cracking down on the big hits and I for one don't agree with the league and that's what football is all about and when you have a intimidating defense its awesome and as a fan we love to see the big hits but we don't want to see any players get hurt or miss any time due to the hard hits so the league have to do what they have to do to protect the players. Lets go Steelers and make sure you win the division and get ahaed of the Ravens.

Since: Jan 20, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2011 12:45 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

what a ridiculous post, the ratings, popularity and staggering tv contracts where based on the toughness of the game and the men who played it, almost all ex-players laugh at these stupid rules.   thank god staubach, fouts, bradshaw, montana didnt know they needed these types of protections or no one would watch this game.

Since: Aug 25, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 12:38 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

I really do feel badly for the Steeler fans who have supported young Mr. Harrison, BUT, I feel WORSE for all the coaches in the country who now have to concern themselves with his actions.   Whether one likes it or not, the kids DO watch and, yes, they DO emulate such thugs as young Mr. Harrison.

Personally, it is a good thing this "case" did not arrive before ME because the penalty would have been "unlimited" suspension - as long as Colt McCoy is out PLUS one game !!!!!!

Shame on the Steelers' coaching staff for not being pro-active and ESPECIALLY for not coaching the CORRECT way to tackle !!!

Since: Aug 25, 2011
Posted on: December 16, 2011 12:34 pm

NFL denies James Harrison's suspension appeal

Nice knowing that a number of you Steelers' fans are in major denial that young Mr. Harrison simply does not know how to play the game - what he did  and  HAS DONE repeatedly is short of criminal.   Personally, were I the commissioner - and the coach for that matter, I would suspend him for as LONG as Colt McCoy is out  PLUS a game !!!!!!

What should concern every coach in the U.S. ( and beyond..... ):  TRULY, is this behavior what we want to see our kids learning and, yes, emulating ????

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