Hodge won't face suspension for Kentucky ejection
Florida senior guard Walter Hodge will not be suspended for any further games following his ejection in Tuesday night's Kentucky game.
Hodge was ejected early in the second half after stepping on Perry Stevenson's right arm as he lay on the court following a collision with another player.
Hodge, who immediately went over to Stevenson to apologize, was charged with a flagrant foul which carries and automatic ejection.
Florida coach Billy Donovan said he spoke with SEC officials and Hodge did not receive any kind of reprimand from the league.
"It’s a hard, hard play because the officials have to make a decision based on intentions,'' Donovan said. "So what was Walter’s intention at the time? Well, nobody knows what Walter was thinking but Walter. And I think when it happened, the thing that made me feel better was at least Walter, right when it happened, went right back to apologize to the guy – right when it happened. But because of the physicalness of college basketball and because there’s been some incidents, there’s been elbows thrown and different plays like that, it’s forced the officials to have to make some decisions. I don’t think they wanted to throw him out, but because of the nature of the play, really it didn’t even come down to Walter’s intentions. It came down to they had to make a judgment call on it. And I did confront Watler.''
Donovan said there's no doubt in his mind that Hodge didn't intentionally try to injure Stevenson.
" Walter is a great kid, and he’s been in this league a long time,'' he said. "He’s obviously played a lot in a four-year period. Walter is a great competitor and a tough kid. But I have never seen anything that would indicate that Walter would do anything intentionally like that. I think sometimes a guy can lose his emotions for a moment, then re-gather them. It was really an unfortunate play. . . I did not see the play live when it happened, I was talking to the team when Chandler got fouled. We had a veteran officiating crew on the game, who I respect, who really were going to the rule and the interpretation of what they need to do. It was an unfortuatnate situation, but there was no suspension of Walter and there was no reprimand by the SEC or anything like that.''