Brown suspended following ‘serious mistake’

Just one week after being suspended for his team’s first defensive possession against Western Michigan, Illinois linebacker Jonathan Brown is once again garnering attention for the wrong reasons. This time, though, the sophomore will miss more than just a few snaps.

Brown was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct during the second quarter of Saturday’s game after he kneed Northwestern lineman Patrick Ward in the groin. He stayed in the game and went on to lead Illinois in tackles with 11, including three unassisted.

After the game, Illinois coaches said they weren’t able to see exactly what happened on the play. But after seeing the replay, the team announced Monday that Brown would be suspended for Illinois’ upcoming game against Indiana.

“We are extremely disappointed by what happened on Saturday and Jonathan knows that,” Illinois head coach Ron Zook said in a press release. “We don’t condone that type of behavior in our program.

I’ve talked to Jonathan and he understands that. He is a good person, a spiritual person, and no one feels worse about it than him. But he got caught up in the moment, made a serious mistake and must deal with the consequences.”

The Big Ten Conference also released a statement reprimanding Brown and supporting Zook’s decision, making further punishment seem unlikely.

The suspension comes just two weeks after Brown was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week following Illinois’ 17-14 win over Arizona State. On the season, Brown has made 30 tackles, tied for second on the team, to go along with two sacks and six tackles for a loss.