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Bama’s Fanning Delivers Dangerous Takedown; Mizzou Handles Matters On The Field

On Saturday, Alabama defensive lineman LaMichael Fanning put a very dangerous, very dumb move on Missouri tailback Russell Hansbrough.  In wrestling-style maneuver, Fanning picked up Hansbrough and then flipped him over and threw him to the ground headfirst.

Hansbrough is 5-9, 185 pounds.  Fanning is listed at 6-7, 298.  It was a dirty play (that you can see further down in this story).

Fanning was penalized for a personal foul.  In terms of a dangerous play, there’s no question Fanning — a redshirt freshman — should be suspended by the SEC office.  The trick is finding the right rule to match with the suspension.  This was not a crown-of-the-helmet-to-the-head-of-a-defenseless-receiver type of play.  And body-slamming isn’t a “point of emphasis” in the NCAA like those helmet-first hits, either.  Oh, it’s every bit as dangerous, yes, but the SEC would need to find the proper rule and wording to dole out a one-game suspension for the Bama benchwarmer.

Whether the SEC office gets involved or not, Missouri’s players took matters into their own hands on Saturday.

Here’s the play in question complete with the commentary from CBS’ Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson.  After Fanning takes down Hansbrough, watch what happens to Fanning — wearing #44 — on the next two plays.

 

Alabama player goons Missouri Running Back with following 2 plays

 

No punches thrown.  No “The Longest Yard” style low blows.  Just a clean, on-the-field butt-whooping delivered man-to-man.  Or men-to-man.

Nick Saban said today that Fanning has sent letters of apology to both Hansbrough and Missouri coach Gary Pinkel.  Knowing Saban, you can bet he wasn’t pleased with one of his linemen doing something that could a) injure another team’s player and/or b) cost the Tide 15 yards.

Bama’s coach said:

 

“This is a young player who’s excited about getting in the game who makes a very, very poor decision and judgment on making that play,” Saban said. “It’s something we don’t condone here. It’s not how we want our players to play.

I think he understands that what he did was not done in the right way in terms of being a strong competitor, and we are managing internally things for him to do to make better choices and decisions in the future. With our young people, when they make mistakes, that’s what you really want to try to do.

I talked to Gary yesterday about it.  He understands our position on it, and there’s other things that are done internally in the program, and we kind of take it from there.”

 

We’ve asked the SEC office for a comment and will share said comment if/when we get one.

 


11 comments
kendesu_
kendesu_

Can Saban suspend an Alabama player?

bammer1234
bammer1234

This is NOT acceptable!!!! I say suspend him.  The kid has already been in trouble with his own team at the beginning of the season. He makes the SEC look like dirty players and we are not.  Him having this hit on his tweeter account as his background tells me how "sorry" this guy is.  He is proud of it.  TAKE HIM OUT!!!!! HE IS NO GOOD!

stevenkendrick
stevenkendrick

As a lifelong Alabama fan I agree with Coach Saban, this is not what UA football is about, I'll just bet it won't happen again

buddha22
buddha22

Maybe if he is truly remorseful he will remove the picture of the play as the backdrop to his twitter account...

Dennyzzzzz
Dennyzzzzz

I don't think I've ever seen a penalty for unnecessary roughness that wasn't a late hit.  Interesting that a player now can be penalized for being too rough.

alamoaggie08
alamoaggie08

like i said before, it would seem bruising (and in this case dirty) defenses are more dangerous than high-tempo offense.  had la-tech been an SEC team, their player who knocked ryan swope out with a dirty crown-of-the-helmet-to-the-head-of-a-defenseless-receiver play would have gotten him suspended, but i imagine the WAC doesn't care.

MoKelly1
MoKelly1

Nice article. Thanks for showing the plays after the penalty.

Sheizman
Sheizman

A few things:

I am a MU season ticket holder who was at the game. Other than that hit, Bama played hard and legal. The refs let their OL hold all day, but that is another matter. Not a foul if it isn't called. Wouldn't have made that much difference anyway if we can't score an offensive TD. Plus, if you read the link, Saban had the kid write a letter to Hansborough and the MU staff apologizing for the illegal hit. 

I thought the Tigers O Line handled the situation perfectly. The LG and C pancaked him on the 1st play after and the RG pancaked him and got in a few business shots to remind him that it was a bad idea to do things like that. Point made. 

Lastly, the Bama fans were very good guests and football knowledgeable. I sure hope the rest of SEC travels along those lines. Vandy didn't bring many fans and the UGA fans were a lot more confrontational and talkative. May have had something to do with it being a night game and people having the opportunity to imbibe all afternoon. But the Bama traveling party impressed me. 

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator

 @Sheizman 

 

No offense, but if you read our story you saw where we mentioned the letters and Saban was quoted.

 

Thanks for visiting the site,

John

mrgrief
mrgrief

Hmm.... and Saban's supposedly worried about player safety?

train21reb
train21reb

My thought is they will suspend the RB for not immediately falling down!



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