In case you were wondering, the ACC has ruled that last week’s vicious hit against CJ Brown that resulted in a concussion was merely roughing the passer, according to the Baltimore Sun. For those hoping to potentially get a bit of vindication in the form of a targeting penalty against a defenseless player you’ll be disappointed in this one.
Brown was hit during last week’s 63-0 loss to Florida State when defender Jacobbi McDaniel appeared to have led with his helmet as he struck the quarterback dropping back. The helmet made contact with Brown right in the upper chest area, but slammed him to the ground with enough force to cause a concussion. Brown left the game, and his status is uncertain for Maryland’s upcoming game against the Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday.
The ACC’s coordinator of officials, Doug Rhoads, ultimately made the decision that the hit was not targeting, siding with the grounds crew. Apparently, because the helmet was not squarely on it’s crown when it made contact, that negates the targeting penalty that would have ensued.
Even when you look at the hit once again (and again, and again), it’s hard to argue that the ACC is wrong on this one. Brown took a nasty lick, and there was definitely a penalty on the play, but a retroactive suspension at this point doesn’t seem warranted. Rule are rules, and McDaniel didn’t infringe on this one as it is currently worded. Football is a pretty rough sport, and even though plenty is being done to ensure the safety of the players, specifically their brains, these plays are unavoidable.
It’s a tough break for Brown, who until this point had been completely healthy despite missing all of last season, to have to potentially ride the pine pony for a game while he recovers. It’s just as tough for the Terrapins, who had some incredibly bad health luck last season in the quarterback department.