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If Quinton Dial Gets Suspended Then Sheldon Dawson Should Be, Too

Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity has asked the SEC to review the legality of Dial's hit on Aaron Murray shortly before halftime in the SEC Championship game, blithely ignoring his own player's flagrant attempt to gouge Alabama's Dee Milliner's eyes.

Via the AJC, Alabama defensive lineman Quinton Dial could face a suspension in the BCS Champioship Game for his unflagged hit on Aaron Murray on Saturday. Steve Shaw, the SEC’s coordinator of officials, confirmed that the league was already reviewing the play in question thanks to an NCAA mandate requiring league offices to review "any flagrant personal foul or targeting" whether it was flagged or not. What's at issue here is whether or not the hit was legal:

"By rule, you can’t hit a defenseless player above the shoulders," Shaw told The Birmingham News. "What the determination needs to be is was this a defenseless player and was contact initiated above the shoulders? When we go through video review of it, that’s what we’ll have to determine. And then you as you break it down, did he lead with the head or lead with the shoulder? From game action, it was a personal foul regardless of how we break it down frame by frame."

Personally I thought the hit was legal. Brutal, yes, but legal. Dial led with his shoulder, not the helmet, and appeared to be going for Murray's shoulder, not his head. Further, the play was still live (Murray had just thrown an INT and was headed towards the play, therefor he was a potential tackler) and Dial's hit can't be considered a cheap/late hit. But then again, I don't understand why Sheldon Dawson's blatant gouge at Dee Milliner's eyes well after the play was over wasn't flagged (while Milliner's response was, costing Alabama 15 yards) and isn't being reviewed either, so what do I know? If this goes through then Dial, a senior, will have played his last game at Alabama.