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Arnold Ebiketie Doesn’t Deserve To Be Face Of ‘Injury-Faking’ Controversy

Almost four months later, Penn State and Iowa’s “injury-faking” controversy is still at the national forefront.

The Athletic published a post on Monday reporting that the NCAA’s rules committee is potentially making changes to put an end to the fake injury controversy in college football. A picture of former Penn State football defensive end Arnold Ebiketie, who’s seen down on the turf in Iowa in the photo, is the featured image of the post.

via The Athletic

For those who forgot, Ebiketie was one of several Nittany Lions to go down with an injury during Penn State’s clash with the Hawkeyes on October 9. Penn State’s high number of injuries sparked speculation from Iowa’s fans that the team was faking injuries, which led to the crowd booing almost every time a Nittany Lion stayed down on the turf.

Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and others on the Hawkeye coaching staff didn’t necessarily disagree with the fans. After the game, Ferentz said that their fans “smelled a rat,” among other curious comments.

James Franklin emphatically responded to the baseless speculation a few days later by explaining a number of reasons why the accusations simply didn’t add up.

Now, for Ebiketie to be “the face” of the controversy just doesn’t seem fair. There was never anything close to legitimate proof that Penn State faked injuries that day in Iowa City. When discussing the matter the following week, Franklin said Ebiketie’s injury probably even looked the worst of them all in real-time.

As Franklin said during his five-minute statement, why would Penn State tell arguably its best defensive player to fake an injury? Why would you want that guy off the field for any plays at all?

After it seemed that any accusations that the Nittany Lions did fake injuries were shut down, it’s a slap in the face to Ebiketie to put him right in the middle of this. Ebiketie, who is currently at the Senior Bowl trying to improve his draft stock in front of NFL scouts and executives, shouldn’t have his reputation potentially tarnished in any way over this, especially now.

In fairness, neither Ebiketie nor any Penn State player was actually accused of faking injuries in The Athletic‘s post. The photo was likely used because Penn State-Iowa’s injury beef stole headlines and is well-known amongst fans. However, the point still remains that Ebiketie doesn’t deserve association with any of it. After all, he was actually injured.

Isn’t it crazy this is still a topic of conversation? The game was played almost four months ago, it’s been addressed several times, and it’s somehow still a thing. When will it end?

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is suddenly Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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