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Harrison Smith admits fault, will be fined not suspended for ref shove


Yesterday’s ref-shoving meltdown will cost Harrison Smith, but only in dollars, not games.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Smith will be fined but not suspended, after he was ejected from the Vikings’ decisive win over the Titans.

Smith earned a 15-yard penalty and ejection after pushing back judge Steve Freeman to the side following an altercation with Titans wide receiver Nate Washington. Freeman was leading Smith away from the scrum, when Smith brushed him away.

“It wasn’t even a play so it was just stupid for me to be involved,” Smith said, via Judd Zulgad of “I just got kind of caught up in the heat of the moment and at the end of the day you can never touch the officials.

“They have a hard enough job as it is and to make it harder on them is just stupid and is something I don’t ever want to do from this point on.”

Smith also gave up any chance to appeal, admitting he shouldn’t have done it.

“To be honest, I’m going to take whatever they give me,” Smith said. “The officials already have a hard job. I should never have been there. I just want to play next week and just help the Vikings win.”

He also apologized to both Freeman and his teammates, showing immediate contrition and accountability.

So as much as Smith’s behavior is unjustifiable, his reaction to it speaks well of his character, rather than trying to deny or shift the blame.

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33 Responses to “Harrison Smith admits fault, will be fined not suspended for ref shove”
  1. kate773 says: Oct 8, 2012 1:22 PM

    Good. Maybe this can end all the nonsense about Belichick getting special treatment from the league for not getting suspended.

    Although it probably won’t.

  2. blacknole08 says: Oct 8, 2012 1:29 PM

    I cringed when I saw this for the first time. You cannot touch the refs ever. Props to him for manning up and admitting fault.

  3. brewdogg says: Oct 8, 2012 1:31 PM

    I would say that he handled it about as well as a person could. Other than not doing anything in the first place, anyway…. No “he shouldn’t have” or “I just ___” or “I wasn’t trying to” at all. I’ll take it.

    Oh yeah, glad he gets to play next week. Can’t forget about that.

  4. The Doctor says: Oct 8, 2012 1:32 PM

    So refreshing to see someone taking responsibility for his actions. Good Job Harrison.

  5. thefiesty1 says: Oct 8, 2012 1:33 PM

    This guy is out of control. Kick him out of the league.

  6. degraz5 says: Oct 8, 2012 1:33 PM

    sounds like another solid draft pick for the vikes,kid is a player and shows great charecter. SKOL Vikes

  7. tiffpats4eva says: Oct 8, 2012 1:34 PM

    This guy actually assaulted the ref and he is getting the same type of punishment that Belichick received for questioning the ref?


  8. zn0rseman says: Oct 8, 2012 1:35 PM

    Smith did not “shove” an official. He shrugged off an official who was shoving him.

    Unlike most people who are commenting about this, I watched this encounter several times. What happened was that after Winfield’s interception, Nate Washington jumped up and got into a couple of Vikings players faces, Smith being one of them. Smith did nothing, he was just standing there. For no apparent reason, one official ran into the fray and started shoving Smith away. Smith back peddled for about ten yards, and finally he shrugged his shoulders dislodging the grip the official had on him. It was really a non-event. Then the official, who was completely ignoring Nate Washington who was now aggressively shoving a different Viking player, made the ‘outta here’ motion with his hand toward Smith, while completely ignoring Washinton.

    It was seriously like that official targeted Smith. If an official (competely without cause) had shoved me for ten yards down the field during my playing days, I would have done a lot more than shrug him off.

  9. contra74 says: Oct 8, 2012 1:36 PM

    Glad he manned up to it and accepted responsibility as well as admitting its completely wrong. I am also glad its a fine and not a suspension. This kid is a hard hitter and covers very well!

  10. theralph2012 says: Oct 8, 2012 1:37 PM

    Wait I dont get it-Shouldn’t he be blaming Roger Goodell for his actions?????

  11. raysfan1 says: Oct 8, 2012 1:40 PM

    Attention all athletes everywhere,
    This is how you apologize for doing something dumb.

  12. wilddeuce03 says: Oct 8, 2012 1:42 PM

    tiffpats4eva says:
    Oct 8, 2012 1:34 PM
    This guy actually assaulted the ref and he is getting the same type of punishment that Belichick received for questioning the ref?


    Assault? Seriously??? Really???!!! Give me a break! The wussification of America continues!

  13. spartan822 says: Oct 8, 2012 1:46 PM

    Harrison Smith deserves his punishment, but I also think that ref went too far when he pushed him back for at least 5 yards before Smith tried to untangle himself from the ref.

  14. antalicus says: Oct 8, 2012 1:48 PM

    From the replay you couldn’t even tell he did anything to the ref. I thought it was a bogus call on the ref’s part and. I know they are old and brittle and all but come on all he did was shrug off the ref a little and he probably didnt even know it was a ref.

  15. icecubeusedtobeangry says: Oct 8, 2012 2:09 PM

    Its nice to see that he is just accepting it and moving on. Hope the fine isn’t too bad and just get back to work.

  16. pack13queens0 says: Oct 8, 2012 2:10 PM

    Pretty sad when a player can get away with a felony assault. From what I’ve heard Roger Goodell was there so why didn’t he just suspend him on the spot? Oh yeah, he hopped on the Vikings bandwagon now. He should have just moved them out of Minnesota and put them where they belong in Los Angeles.

  17. ctochester12 says: Oct 8, 2012 2:14 PM

    Does anybody have any actual video of him “assaulting” the ref? The only one that I have found is cut off why to soon as I don’t even see him put his hands on a ref in it.

  18. sikoix says: Oct 8, 2012 2:19 PM

    This kid has been playing so well this season, I was actually pretty disappointed to see him get ejected early on. Haven’t looked forward to watching the Vikings pass defense this much since the 92 season when Dungy was the D coordinator. Watching this in real-time, I didn’t see much to warrant an ejection, but it’s nice to see him take responsibility and learn from it. Hearing this after hearing Greenway take full responsibility for his helmet to helmet mishap last week makes it easy to take pride in this years team. As a long time Viking fan, I know better than to start thinking superbowl, but Frazier and Spielman certainly have this team headed in the right direction.

  19. thraiderskin says: Oct 8, 2012 2:25 PM

    I like Harrison, a lot, Vikings had an incredible draft with thier top 2 picks. The guy touched a ref, no he shoved a ref and he deserves to be suspended. Him not getting suspended raises more questions than it should have had the right thing been done.

  20. 7ransponder says: Oct 8, 2012 2:39 PM

    pack13queens0 says:Oct 8, 2012 2:10 PM

    Pretty sad when a player can get away with a felony assault.

    Felony? I think you’re getting this guy mixed up with Packer felon Johnny Jolly.

    But seriously man? You’re a little out of hand around here, it’s not even funny anymore.

  21. icecubeusedtobeangry says: Oct 8, 2012 2:39 PM

    I am sorry, but that was not “felony assault”.

  22. icecubeusedtobeangry says: Oct 8, 2012 2:39 PM


  23. magnustroi says: Oct 8, 2012 2:54 PM

    WOW !!!!!!!!
    Its incredible of ALL these comments ? Right or Wrong ? He is just a Kid !!!! Fresh out of College !!!!!! I can’t believe no one has even mentioned that fact !!!! That not only being a rookie ? He’s still very young !!! And look how Greatly he took responsibility for his actions …….

  24. zn0rseman says: Oct 8, 2012 2:56 PM

    thraiderskin says:
    Oct 8, 2012 2:25 PM
    The guy touched a ref, no he shoved a ref and he deserves to be suspended. Him not getting suspended raises more questions than it should have had the right thing been done.


    Again, I challenge anyone to watch the game and find any sort of shove, push or anything else that would warrant a penalty. Unlike you, I’ve watched it and Smith really didn’t deserve a penalty, let alone an ejection. All he did was shrug off an official who had gone way over the top and was out of line. Frankly, I’m not sure what they expected the kid to do, I’ve never seem a ref act like that before… not at any level of football.

  25. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Oct 8, 2012 2:56 PM

    The fine is deserved, a suspension would be ridiculous. I hope someone tells that official to keep his hands off the player’s throat the next time he wants to get him to back up.

  26. purplehayseuss says: Oct 8, 2012 3:07 PM


    Sorry your team is not living up to expectations. But that shouldn’t be a reason for you to let your inner middle-schooler come back out.

    Yes, you guys got royally screwed a couple of weeks ago, but you just plain poo-ed the screwtch yesterday.

    Kickers miss. It happens. I hear Longwell is available.

  27. cags777 says: Oct 8, 2012 4:41 PM

    I like having Harrison Smith on our team. He gives it his all every week and is not afraid to go after it. He’s a big reason why our team is 4-1 right now, and I anticipate a great future for this guy. SKOL!

  28. whatjusthapped says: Oct 8, 2012 4:54 PM

    What is it with these Domer’s?, first we have Golden Tate pushing off and telling the interviewer that he didn’t have any idea of what the guy was talking about ( and stealing donuts last year) and now we have Smith laying hands on a ref.

    I thought Notre Dame was suppose to be this university of high character. Maybe just hanging around with the Vikings has caused him to go gangsta.

  29. hauts81 says: Oct 8, 2012 5:23 PM

    The team announced that he won’t be fined either. 🙂

  30. fwippel says: Oct 8, 2012 5:29 PM

    It looked to me like Smith wasn’t doing anything, and the ref was trying to separate him from a potential scruf between him and a Titan receiver. I thought the ref was a bit over the top with his actions in the first place, but I understand them ejecting Smith if Smith pushed back. Glad to see him owning up to that. The ejecting may have been justified, but not a fine or suspension.

    That said, you don’t ever touch or shove an official. I remember a game back in the early ’80s Walter Payton went to plead his case on a call his disagreed with, and on his way, he stumbled and fell into the ref. The ref threw him out of the game even though it wasn’t intentional.

  31. 86chawk says: Oct 8, 2012 6:19 PM

    I am not a fan of either team involved and i will say that i saw the play and nothing was intentional from Harrison Smith. Actually it was the best block of the day on a Vikings player. I give the kid his props for manning up instead of playing dumb.

  32. mellish225 says: Oct 10, 2012 10:13 AM

    The suspended Saints players, and Brees, could learn a lot from this guy…

  33. ridle9 says: Oct 10, 2012 1:14 PM

    I like this kid and like his attitude. Time to move on. Man some of you need to get a job and move out of your mom’s basement!

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