When it happened, we all expected a flag. When it wasn’t flagged we all awaited the news of a suspension but Alabama defensive end Quinton Dial is one of the luckiest players in college football at the moment, as the bureaucracy of the National Title game has dictated that Dial will not be suspended for his helmet-to-hemet hit on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray in the SEC Championship game two weeks ago.
The most interesting part of this story is that before Quinton Dial, who plays for the Crimson Tide in case you didn’t already make that correlation, the NCAA was cracking down hard on helmet-to-helmet hits by issuing next game suspensions for guilty players.
Dial’s hit was vicious, it was without a doubt helmet-to-helmet, but there will be no suspension coming from it.
In a statement on their investigation, the SEC ruled the following:
“The Southeastern Conference has completed its review of video from the 2012 SEC Football Championship Game. Several plays involving both teams were reviewed. After review, all subsequent action will be handled internally by the two institutions and the conference office is satisfied with their actions.”
So basically, at a moment when a conference should step in and govern, they’re letting the inmates run the asylum — because there’s a lot of money riding on a possible suspension of Dial in the National Championship game.
Not only did SEC Coordinator of Officals Steve Shaw say Dial should have been penalized, he turned right around on himself and said Dial’s hit on Murray wasn’t as severe as other helmet-to-helmet hits that resulted in suspension this year.
To be specific, he said the “nature of the play was different”, apparently meaning Murray needed to be a step short of being decapitated to have drawn a penalty and for Dial to have been suspended.
Dial may miss a half, or a series but Alabama is not going to suspend their defensive end for the biggest game of their season. Despite the NCAA lowering the hammer on other institutions for violations outside of football, when it comes to violations on the field the NCAA apparently goes brain dead.
To be fair to Nick Saban and Alabama, the SEC brutally botched another ruling earlier this year when redshirt freshman LaMicheal Fanning body-slammed a Missouri running back. The conference didn’t suspend Fanning but Saban and the University told Fanning not to travel with the team to their next game against the Volunteers.
But it’s highly questionable that the SEC is conveniently fumbling the ball on a call that could play into the conference winning it’s seventh consecutive national championship. At the same time, we all have to ask ourselves, when wasn’t college football rotten and corrupt?