There aren't many things worse for a college football powerhouse than losing to an FCS team. Having an unsportmanlike act caught on film in the process, however, is a cherry on top of that sundae of horrors, and that appears to be the case in Florida's 26-20 loss to Georgia Southern last week.
Photographer Steve Johnson took a series of pictures of Florida defensive back Marcus Maye giving GSU slotback William Banks the business, right in his face. See below:
Now, it is not fair to say this was an intentional act. That is for readers to decide, but the role of a sideline photographer is to tell the story of the game, and, in this case, bring the viewers content that they might not see on television.
Georgia Southern fullback, William Banks, was not happy with the officials after no foul play was called.
Now, gouging can be both intentional and unintentional in football - especially when a helmet is removed during a play.
After going back to do another edit, I noted that the player, Maye, was getting up, looked around and then went back down and put his hands on the face of the Georgia Southern player.
With only pictures and not a video to go on, there's only so much you can surmise about this, but we can pretty much rule out "accident." Maye is obviously aware Banks is right there beneath him, and putting your hand on someone's face is not a thing people do if not on purpose.
That said, it's probably too far to definitively call this an "eye gouge" or anything specific other than "cheap shot," which it pretty clearly is. Not all cheap shots are injurious, mind you, nor do they even have to be overtly malicious. But intentionally disconcerting, yes absolutely, and this would qualify.