While not flagged for the high cheap-shot on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray in the SEC championship game, many thought — even assumed — that Alabama’s Quinton Dial would be suspended for the BCS title game against Notre Dame after the hit was reviewed by the league office.
Upon further review? “Move on. Nothing to see here. Please, disperse.”
In a statement released Friday morning that did not specifically address the defensive end’s hit, the SEC announced that there would be no suspensions arising from several title-game plays that were reviewed by conference officials.
“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.”
View the video and judge for yourself:
Appearing on the Smashmouth Radio Network shortly after the announcement, the SEC’s supervisor of football officials, Steve Shaw, acknowledged that the Dial’s hit should’ve been flagged — “We missed the call” — but it was “different from hits that resulted in suspension.” In back-to-back weeks earlier this year, the SEC suspended players from Ole Miss and South Carolina for “a flagrant and dangerous act… to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet.“
How Dial’s hit on Murray was different from the other two is head-scratching to say the least. Arguably the biggest difference? The Tide will play the Irish in the BCS championship game looking to extend the SEC’s streak of titles to seven and Dial has played in all 13 games as part of the defensive line rotation.