Albama Arkansas Auburn Florida Georgia Kentucky LSU Mississippi State Missouri Ole-Miss USC Tennessee Texas A&M Vanderbilt
Latest News

SEC Suspends USC’s Swearinger For Nasty Hit; Conspiracy Theorists Need To Hush

Two weeks.  Two suspensions.

One week after penalizing Ole Miss defensive back Trae Elston for a violation of the rules 9-1-3 and 9-1-4, the SEC office has doled out a suspension to South Carolina defensive back DJ Swearinger for a violation of good ol’ 9-1-4.

For the conspiracy theorists who said of Elston’s suspension, “Let’s see the SEC suspend a player from a good team before a big game,” uh, well, you can now hush and get back to looking at that model of Dealey Plaza you made out of mashed potatoes on your kitchen table.

Here’s what the SEC had to say about the suspension of the free safety starter from the seventh-ranked team in the country:

 

“This action is the result of a flagrant and dangerous act which occurred at the 5:46 mark in the third quarter (of South Carolina’s game with UAB on Saturday).  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.’

By playing rule, a defenseless opponent is defined by ‘one who because his physical position and focus of concentration is especially vulnerable to injury.’  One of the example in the rule book is a receiver whose focus in on catching a pass.”

 

Unlike Elton’s play, the hit by Swearinger — shown below — did draw a flag from officials.

 

D.J Swearinger knocks out UAB player

 

According to commissioner Mike Slive: “These rules are for the protection of the health and safety of our players on both sides of the ball.  It is imperative that our student-athletes understand the importance of this rule.  Our motivation in making these decisions is to protect our student-athletes.”

As we noted last week when comparing several hits that did and did not result in SEC suspensions, it again appears that the result of the hit does play a role in the league’s action.  Right or wrong, when a belted player appears wobbly, woozy or flat knocked out, suspensions usually follow.  UAB’s receiver did indeed stay on the ground after the big hit by Swearinger.

The suspension is a rough blow for the Gamecocks.  Swearinger is a senior, three-year starter.  His backup — Jared Shaw — has rarely played.  Missouri will visit Williams-Brice Stadium for a key SEC East battle on Saturday.

Interestingly, South Carolina’s Justice Cunningham was clocked by Vanderbilt defensive back Andre Hal in this year’s SEC opener but no suspension was handed down on that occasion.  League spokesman Charles Bloom explained to MrSEC.com last week why there was no suspension in that case.

As we said of Elston’s suspension — and as we would have said had Vandy’s Hal been suspended — the league is simply trying to protect athletes (and avoid potential lawsuits).  And we have absolutely no problem with that.

 


16 comments
Andy
Andy

Like I said last week, if they are going to be consistent, there will be at least 1-2 suspended every week.  We'll see how long this lasts.

BonzaiB
BonzaiB

Its a new policy, and there is going to be some level of discussion, pro's and con's, as this stuff starts to get institutionalized. Anyone who talks conspiracy here is just whining. Human's play the game, officiate it and regulate it. There are going to be disagreements on enforcement, get used to it. The rule was put into place to protect students the NCAA has a responsibility to protect. All calls on this new rule should err on the side of safety, period. Its a new rule, its a good rule, its going to be argued about, and the players are going to have to deal with it. The stricter you are in enforcement out the gate, the faster they learn what not to do, which is the point of the exercise.

bpa_kc
bpa_kc

Unless the patch-work Mizzou o-line improves a lot in 1 week's time...  I'm not sure Franklin (or Berk) will have enough time to exploit any holes in the USC secondary.  The amount of pressure ASU was able to generate last weekend makes me worry that Mr. Clowney is going to have a field day Saturday.  Like last week, I think it will be up to the Mizzou defense to play a stellar game if they want to keep this one close. 

Gamecock98
Gamecock98

Obviously I am a Carolina fan but it is the right call by the league as others have stated.  I am not the kind of person who stands on the side of the road with the State Trooper arguing a speeding ticket by pointing out others who speed.  I hate to lose DJ for a big game but perhaps it will teach a lesson to others.  Go Cocks and win anyway.

 

John, a big fan of MrSEC as I check it first thing in the morning and come back later in hopes of new nuggets of information gold.  Have a great day.

Gamecock in ATL
Gamecock in ATL

Gotta obey the rules DJ ... that's a big loss for the Mizzou game

TremontReb
TremontReb

Pretty much, yeah that's the way it works.

BTW, you used the word conspiracy.  Would like to see the rules enforced equally.  if you think that happens then you haven't been around long. 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @TremontReb 

 

Again.  Good to know.  

 

Any word on why 12 schools choose to allow the SEC office to play favorites for two rival league schools?  Seems to me they'd raise one heckuva ruckus if they thought the SEC office played favorites.

 

Also, with Alabama being a 51-point favorite against FAU on Saturday, I'd think the league would want to cover up their pro-Bama conspiracy with a suspension of a Bama player -- you mentioned an Alabama hit earlier -- for a game that doesn't matter.  Is the league office worried the Owls might stun the Tide?  If not, why not double-down on the first conspiracy by further conspiring to cover it up?

 

Here's the problem: I'm using logic to argue with someone who's driven by passion.  We'll never see eye-to-eye.  So let's just end it here.  

 

My view: The SEC is protecting players.  Your view: The SEC is cheating 12 schools to help two... and the 12 getting cheated don't mind.

 

John

Ced Lover
Ced Lover

USC grad, so I bleed GARNET. 

 

However, I have no problem with the suspension. It was a nasty helmet-to-helmet hit. The rules say "DON'T DO IT," and he did it. But worse (and stupidly), he tweeted a video of the hit...essentially bragging about the play for which he got flagged. Even if the suspension wasn't going to happen, the league would have had no choice. They're cracking down on those types of hits, while he's glorifying that he did it. He's a senior and a leader of the defense. He should have been smart enough to avoid that type of hit. Or even if it was unavoidable, he should have been smart enough to not draw attention back to the hit two days later. SMH

 

That said, Andre Hal (#23 for Vanderbilt) did indeed have a similar helmet-to-helmet hit. (Just search "Justice Cunningham 20 yd Reception" on Youtube). So you gotta see how it seems to USC fans. I don't think it's a conspiracy, however I do think the problem with the NCAA (and now the SEC) is that the rules are NEVER consistent.

+ Hal (Vandy) flagged, NOT suspended. 

+ Elston (Ole Miss) NOT flagged, but suspended.

+ Swearinger (USC) BOTH flagged and suspended.

 

No one is arguing the rules...we are arguing the application of those rules.

 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @Ced Lover 

 

No need to send people to YouTube.  I mentioned the play in the story above.  I also got the SEC's explanation of the difference between the two plays -- buy it or not -- and I linked back to the video of the play as well.

 

Here's the video and the SEC's explanation again:

 

http://www.mrsec.com/2012/09/sec-responds-to-questions-about-suspension-of-ums-elston/

 

Personally, I think if Cunningham had rolled around on the ground, Hal would have been suspended.  The SEC would probably argue that, but I think a player looking hurt makes a play look worse.

 

As for the flagged, not flagged stuff... that's like a holding call or an interference call.  Different officials working different games see things from their own angles at full-speed in different ways.  Always have, always will.  The trick is equal application of the suspension rule, in my view. 

 

Thanks for reading the site,

John

Ced Lover
Ced Lover

 @John at MrSEC  @Ced Lover  THX. Enjoy the site and thanks for the info from SEC officials. (I don't buy it, but it's good to hear their take). it's definitely a slippery slope for the league

mb6783
mb6783

As a Carolina Fan, I knew he would be suspended as soon as it happened. And going along with the Ole Miss player, they both deserve it. My only complaint, is that the Vandy hit against Cunningham deserved the same suspension. The only reason the Vandy guy didn't get suspended is because Cunningham was to big for him to knock down. No concpiracy here, DJ's hit deserved suspension. Sucks, we really need him against Mizou.

aramsayjr
aramsayjr

I will preface this by saying my opinion is biased because i am a Carolina fan.

 

i do not think this suspension is warranted. In the previous article you stated the suspension of the Mississippi player was given because he used the crown of his helmet. If you look closely at the Swearinger replay, he did not hit the receiver with the crown but rather with the side of his helmet as he attempted to hit the receiver with his right shoulder pad. Look at the way his body turns after the hit, If his intent was to lead straight helmet first, his body would not have turned sideways, it would have followed through directly through the receiver. He put his forced behind his right shoulder which is why his body turns shoulder first even after that area made most of the contact.

 

While the hit was high, also notice that the ball was being caught high directly in front of the receiver's head. Swearinger's initial contact was his right shoulder pad on the ball. How do you suspend a player for going full force into the point of the reception. 

 

It was a bad hit and deserved a penalty, but suspensions should be based on intent. In my opinion, the intent was to hit shoulder first and was to make contact with both the ball and the player. 

TremontReb
TremontReb

Didn't read anything stating "Let's see if they suspend a player from a good team"..... Did state "Let's see if it happens to Alabama or LSU".... and yes there was a hit in the Alabama game that the Alabama player led with the crown of his helmet...  They probably didn't have time to review that game.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @TremontReb 

 

Ohhhh.  So the SEC's favoritism only works for two schools.  The other 12 are fair game.  Good to know.

 

Surprises me that the other 12 schools -- ya know, since the commissioner actually answers to their presidents -- don't complain or replace the commissioner.

 

John

MoKelly1
MoKelly1

Ouch. There was zero doubt on that hit that it violated the rules. Helmet to helmet.

Trackbacks

  1. urlman cow says:

    The Birch of the Shadow

    I think there could be considered a number of duplicates, but an exceedingly useful checklist! I’ve tweeted this. Lots of thanks for sharing!



Follow Us On:
Mobile MrSEC