From the world of Twitter came this from Jon Solomon on Sunday afternoon:
PM RT: CFO officiating panel recommended suspension for Quinton Dial hit vs Aaron Murray. http://t.co/uaHtUsDuEg
This is part of an AL.com series on college football officiating and how officials are being instructed to handle targeting and head-to-head contact. When in doubt throw the flag.
It’s become a big topic as the conferences and the NCAA work to reduce concussions. Ole Miss safety Trae Elston, a freshman last year, was one of the first to catch this wave when he was suspended for the Texas game last year after his hit against a UTEP receiver the previous week.
The irony in the new rule is that had it been in place last year, Elston would have been suspended for the first half of the Texas game, not the entire game.
Here’s my blog post shortly after the Elston suspension was announced.
Elston’s hit fell within a range of gray area that allowed for his suspension as the league enforced its policy. The initial contact was below the helmet, and Elston’s momentum carried him higher into the hit.
If the rule of thumb is “When in doubt penalize and eject” it would seem that we can expect an increase in the number of ejections.
Safety is the top priority. It’s easy to talk about safety and more difficult to achieve it in a naturally aggressive sport whose participants are from the beginning of tackle football praised for inflicting pain and punishment.
The quest for safety needs to include equal application of the rules.
There was enough in Elston’s hit for debate. There should have been no debate about Dial’s hit, and nothing happened.
Sounds like there will be even greater awareness of these big hits and as with anything new, a gray area to work through and certain “case hits” and suspensions along the way as officials settle into the new normal.