For the second week in a row the Southeastern Conference suspended a player for what it considers to be a “flagrant and dangerous” hit against a defenseless opponent.
This time, though, the league didn’t punish a relatively anonymous player from one of the league’s second-tier teams. D.J. Swearinger, a senior safety for No. 7 South Carolina, will sit out his team’s game vs. Missouri Saturday after the SEC determined his hit on UAB’s Patrick Hearn violated rule Rule 9-1-4.
That rule states: “No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, elbow or shoulder.”
No doubt the ruling will inspire some hand-wringing from Internet tough guys who believe these kind of rulings soften an inherently violent game. But take a look at the video above and it’s clear the suspension is justified because Swearinger launched into Hearn with a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit.
You can make a case that Elston’s suspension wasn’t