Freshman Safety Trae Elston Suspended For Texas Game

Ole Miss Rebel freshmen safety Trae Elston is suspended from this week's game against Texas by the Southeastern Conference. Per the SEC Website:

This action was the result of a flagrant and dangerous act which occurred at the 3:18 mark in the fourth quarter. The action is in violation of Rule 9-1-4 of the NCAA Football Rule Book, which reads, "No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, elbow or shoulder," and Rule 9-1-3 which states, "No player shall target and initiate contact against an opponent with the crown (top) of his helmet."

The hit they are referencing is after the jump:

So, is this in violation of the rule as cited by the Southeastern Conference? Did Elston "target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, elbow or shoulder"? Is this worthy of a suspension?

I, for one, think this is absolutely outrageous. Of course I'm biased, but it appears to me that Elston drove his shoulder into the opponent's chest, a hit which was perfectly legal and, might I add, not at all flagged during the game. I understand that an increased awareness of traumatic head and neck injuries in football has led to increased precaution and action to prevent such injuries, but to suspend a player for this is overreaching.

This does, in my mind, raise an interesting question: if we Ole Miss fans had not celebrated the tackle - as in included it in highlight reels, made reference to it here and on other corners of the internet, and generally celebrated the violence of the sport of football - would the SEC have even noticed or cared? Perhaps that is arrogance on my part, but it is something I cannot help but wonder. Did we bring the SEC's attention to this hit? Was our celebration of the hit cause for concern among the SEC big-whigs?

Regardless, it's frustrating. I now know how Coach Eric Taylor felt when Luke Cafferty was suspended for a game for a violent yet entirely legal tackle. No wonder he was furious. (Anyone?)

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