football Edit

Players discuss what happened on Kinlaw's unsportsmanlike penalty


There weren’t many plays that stood out from the second half of South Carolina’s 28-3 win over Akron Saturday, but one of the most notable ones happened when there wasn’t even a play going on.

Javon Kinlaw was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and got into a shouting match with an official. That boiled over to the sidelines, where he had to be pulled off the field by head coach Will Muschamp and needed to be calmed down by the assistant coaches.

After the game, Kinlaw took to Twitter to clarify what happened.

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"I ain’t mad because of the holding,” Kinlaw tweeted. “When you got a ref mocking you in your face while you trying to talk to him like a man you would be pissed too. I guarantee that.”

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This was one of Kinlaw’s first unsportsmanlike penalties of his career and it happened after what his teammates thought was just frustration boiling over after he thinks he was held all season without many penalties being called.

Kinlaw was fuming during the play, which was ultimately ruled a fumble that true freshman Ernest Jones recovered, and was yelling with the referee, which resulted in the flag being thrown.

Muschamp came onto the field while Kinlaw was talking to the officials to de-escalate the situation.

“Obviously there was a confrontation and we felt like we needed to make sure the situation didn’t escalate,” Muschamp said. “He’s a very competitive young man. That’s really, really good some times. Like me, it’s really, really good sometimes and sometimes it’s not so good. That’s part of it. but I’d rather be saying ‘Woah’ than ‘Giddy up.’"

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Kinlaw spent time talking to defensive assistant coaches Lance Thompson and Mike Peterson before going over to the bench and sitting by himself to calm down.

His teammates didn’t address it with him, though, saying he was able to calm down and come back in the game.

“He’s been getting held all year and not been getting flagged for it. I’ve seen refs look at him and say whatever, so I’m sure he was really upset about it that they didn’t throw a flag,” T.J. Brunson said. “That’s something he’s going to have to get used to. it’s not really my place to say anything about it. If the ref doesn’t throw it, it is what it is. You just have to control the reaction and I’m sure he boiled over with emotion.”

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Kinlaw finished the game with three tackles and one sack, bringing his season total to 38 tackles and 10 tackles for loss, 4.5 of those being sacks.

Muschamp didn’t get a chance to meet with Kinlaw one-on-one to talk about the play, but said it’s something the two will talk about at some point.

“I’m not certain,” Muschamp said about what he saw on the play. “Obviously he was wrong. I haven’t talked to him about, but we’ll address it moving forward.”