Saturday, October 20, 2018

Notebook: Kansas DB Mike Lee ejected in loss to Texas Tech

Texas Tech's Seth Collins (22) leaps over Kansas' Mike Lee (11) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, in Lubbock, Texas.

Texas Tech's Seth Collins (22) leaps over Kansas' Mike Lee (11) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, in Lubbock, Texas.


Lubbock, Texas — After missing the Kansas football team’s trip to West Virginia due to injury, junior Mike Lee returned to his starting spot in the defensive backfield Saturday at Texas Tech.

But the return proved to be a brief one for the hard-hitting safety from New Orleans.

Lee, who already had come up with nine solo tackles and a forced fumble, was ejected with 32 seconds left in the second quarter at Jones AT & T Stadium.

Following a stoppage to review Lee’s tackle of Antoine Wesley, officials called KU’s safety for targeting, sending a dejected Lee, who was down on the turf in anger, to the locker room before the midway point of his team’s 48-16 loss to the Red Raiders.

“When I saw the replay — I've watched a lot of college football, I'm not real sure if it's easy for these folks to tell sometimes,” KU head coach David Beaty said, when asked whether he thought Lee would end up getting ejected on the play. “The consistency has not been really across the board. I wasn't really sure.

“I know he's a hard hitter,” Beaty continued. “He put some hits on those guys today. He does drop his head from time to time. When you drop your head, you have to be careful, because you put yourself in harm's way of being ejected. I know it hurt him, tore him up. He didn't want to do that. That's part of his growing up, learning to tackle better, keep his eyes up.”

Dineen ties Pless

As of Saturday, redshirt senior linebacker Joe Dineen is tied for first all time at KU in tackles for loss.

With two stops behind the line of scrimmage in Lubbock, Dineen tied Willie Pless with 41 career TFLs.

Sims tied for No. 2 in career yardage

While making two receptions for 38 yards and a touchdown at Texas Tech, senior receiver Steven Sims Jr. put himself in a tie for second in program history in both career receiving yardage and touchdown catches.

Sims tied Kerry Meier in both categories, with 2,309 yards and 18 touchdown receptions.

Ricky Thomas returns

Another safety, KU sophomore Ricky Thomas, returned for the Jayhawks (2-5 overall, 0-4 Big 12), as well, at Texas Tech.

After missing the past three games with an injury, Thomas made two tackles as a reserve.

Big 12 road losing streak continues

The next time KU football wins a Big 12 game on the road will be the first time it has done so since Oct. 4, 2008.

The drought didn’t end Saturday in Lubbock, where the Jayhawks dropped their 43rd true conference road game in a row.

They have two more chances to end it this season: Nov. 10 at Kansas State and Nov. 17 at Oklahoma.


John Myers 3 weeks, 4 days ago

I thought the ejection was a bad call. Looked like he was dropping down to hit with his shoulder and the runner dropped WAY down causing the helmet to helmet hit.

Lonnie Ross Dillon 3 weeks, 4 days ago

The fact that Sims tied Kerry Meier is nothing short of amazing when you compare the quality of the offense each played within.

Andy Godwin 3 weeks, 4 days ago

The officials fail to recognize that the running back dropped his head 12 inches otherwise there would have been no helmet to helmet contact. Bogus call on Lee. I know the rules continue to change for the safety of players, but the running back was as much at fault for the contact.

Dustin Peterson 3 weeks, 4 days ago

I've posted the "targeting" rule below. I see 3 elements of this rule, ALL of which must be satisfied to find a player in violation, and targeting is only one such element.

1) TARGETING (see Note 1 below) an opponent, and 2) FORCEABLE CONTACT OCCURS with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow, or shoulder 3) to the head and neck area of a DEFENSELESS PLAYER (see Note 2 below).

Element 1 was satisfied by Lee lowering his helmet to make the tackle. Element 2 was satisfied when helmet to helmet contact occurred. Element 3, however, was not satisfied because the receiver lowered his own helmet, which is a motion to protect himself, and therefore is not a defenseless player. Mike Lee was ejected erroneously and deserves a written apology from the officials and the conference with an immediate lifting of his suspension.


"No player shall target and make forcible contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent (See Note 2 below) with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulder. This foul requires that there be at least one indicator of targeting (See Note 1 below). When in question, it is a foul (Rules 2-27-14 and 9-6). (A.R. 9-1-4-I-VI)"

Note 1: "Targeting" means that a player takes aim at an opponent for purposes of attacking with forcible contact that goes beyond making a legal tackle or a legal block or playing the ball. Some indicators of targeting include but are not limited to:

Launch—a player leaving his feet to attack an opponent by an upward and forward thrust of the body to make forcible contact in the head or neck area

A crouch followed by an upward and forward thrust to attack with forcible contact at the head or neck area, even though one or both feet are still on the ground

Leading with helmet, shoulder, forearm, fist, hand or elbow to attack with forcible contact at the head or neck area

Lowering the head before attacking by initiating forcible contact with the crown of the helmet

Note 2: Defenseless player (Rule 2-27-14):

A player in the act of or just after throwing a pass.

A receiver attempting to catch a forward pass or in position to receive a backward pass, or one who has completed a catch and has not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a ball carrier.

A kicker in the act of or just after kicking a ball, or during the kick or the return.

A kick returner attempting to catch or recover a kick, or one who has completed a catch or recovery and has not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a ball carrier.

A player on the ground.

A player obviously out of the play.

A player who receives a blind-side block.

A ball carrier already in the grasp of an opponent and whose forward progress has been stopped.

A quarterback any time after a change of possession.

A ball carrier who has obviously given himself up and is sliding feet-first

George Johnston 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Congratulations to both Joe Dineen and Steven Sims! Amazing accomplishments!

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