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SEC Won’t Suspend Bama’s Fanning, Explains Decision

Before the crazies start screaming that the Southeastern Conference is protecting Alabama, let’s remember that freshman defensive lineman LaMichael Fanning has played in four games and has a grand total of four tackles on the season (though one of them has certainly gotten a lot of attention).  The league is hardly protecting a star player in this case (as some would suggest it did in the Cam Newton affair).

That said, SEC associate commissioner, PR guru, and all-around good guy Charles Bloom just sent us the following comment regarding Fanning’s wrestling-style tackle of Missouri tailback Russell Hansbrough:


“The NCAA Football playing rules call for mandatory conference review following specific fouls.  The SEC has been diligent in reviewing plays that by rule involve the initiation of contact and targeting defenseless opponents to the head and neck area.  The conference maintains constant communication with head coaches on matters of penalty violations during the season.  In the first instance discipline for violations involving non-NCAA-required automatic conference review are to be handled by the institution subject to the approval of the league office.”


In other words — as we suggested yesterday — the dangerous tackle by Fanning does not fall into one of the NCAA’s “point of emphasis” categories.  We tried earlier today to find anything that the SEC might use as a means to suspend Fanning if it really, really wanted to, but it seems the league will stick to letting Alabama handle this one internally — pending “approval of the league office.”

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