O'Brien upset about late hit on Kiwanuka

Updated: October 9, 2005, 6:18 PM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- Boston College coach Tom O'Brien said Sunday he will ask the Atlantic Coast Conference to review a late hit on Mathias Kiwanuka so they can tell him "if that's the way we're going to play football in this league."

"I don't want to prejudge what the ACC should do," O'Brien said a day after BC beat Virginia 28-17. "I just think it's a situation they need to look into."

Kiwanuka, the preseason conference defensive player of the year, and defensive lineman Al Washington will be allowed to play in Saturday's game against Wake Forest despite being ejected against Virginia, O'Brien said.

The score was 7-7 early in the third quarter when Virginia offensive lineman Brad Butler chop-blocked Kiwanuka after the whistle. Washington retaliated and was ejected; BC linebacker Brian Toal hit Butler one play later and drew a personal foul.

Virginia coach Al Groh said Sunday that he hadn't seen the play until about 24 hours after the game. He said he had spoken to Butler about the hit but declined to reveal to reporters what his player said.

"This was a very intense competition throughout the game, with two highly motivated players," Groh said. "This was just one of a number of plays in the game on either side in which maybe there was a little more exuberance than necessary. The thing has to be viewed ... relative to other incidents that did not get national television exposure."

Asked if the school would consider disciplinary action against Butler, Groh said: "There are a number of offices that have an interest in the circumstances with whom we've had conversations."

Kiwanuka was ejected in the fourth quarter for trying to exact his revenge.

"I was embarrassed with how we reacted," O'Brien said. "I thought we did a very poor job, and that reflects on me and everyone on this football team. We tried to escalate it, and we almost lost the football game because of it."

Toal's penalty put the Cavaliers on the BC 23 and Deyon Williams caught a 23-yard touchdown pass on the next play to make it 14-7. But the Eagles scored touchdowns on three of their next four possessions to take a 28-17 lead.

O'Brien said the hit, which was replayed on the stadium scoreboard, fired up an otherwise sedate crowd.

It also fired up his team.

"Yeah, it got us angry," BC quarterback Quinton Porter said after the game. "It's the last time anybody takes a cheap shot on us."

Kiwanuka, who was the Big East defensive player of the year last year, was already smarting from a sore ankle when Butler hit him in the back of the knees. O'Brien said he wasn't sure if Kiwanuka's injuries could keep him out of the game against Wake Forest.

"He's sore. I won't know that for a couple days," O'Brien said. "I'm going to wait to see Tuesday and see how he is."

O'Brien said his coaching staff is gathering game tape to send to league supervisor of officials Tommy Hunt. That won't take place until Monday at the earliest.

The BC coach said he wasn't angling for a punishment.

"I'm over it. I'm finished with it," he said. "What I need is interpreted is if that's the way we're going to play football."


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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