Big 12 football: Watch for violent hits
The Omaha World-Herald’s Tom Shatel raised a great point in recent days. If the NFL was not currently going through a great debate about vicious hits and what should be done about them, would Nebraska’s Eric Martin be suspended for today’s Missouri game?
Martin popped Oklahoma State’s Andrew Hudson with a blindside block last Saturday that virtually knocked out Hudson and almost certainly caused a concussion. The play resulted in no penalty, but Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe deemed it a helmet-to-helmet hit.
Shatel raises some valid points in his blog:
Shatel correctly points out that the most controversial thing about Martin’s hit was his reaction. He stood and posed over the fallen Hudson, then while Hudson was wheeled off the field, Martin was shown laughing on the sidelines. Bad, bad form.
Helmet-to-helmet or violent hits have not been an issue in college football. It’s possible Martin was the victim of bad timing. All the problems in the NFL two weeks ago have created a climate of discussion, then here comes a bone-rattling hit that could be construed as against the rules. Suddenly, a suspension.
So keep your eye on college games today. A precedent has been set. Late hits on quarterbacks. Defenseless receivers getting laid out. Unsuspecting defenders on kicks being waylaid. Are all subject to suspension now?
Here’s my problem with the suspensions. Retroactive punishment is never good. If what Martin did was suspendable, that should be made clear before the game, before the season. Not after it happens.
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