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?)