LINCOLN, Neb. — The Big 12 Conference suspended Nebraska linebacker Eric Martin for Saturday's game against Missouri.
Martin's suspension stems from a hit he put on Oklahoma State's Andrew Hudson in this past Saturday's game. Martin blindsided Hudson with a block during Niles Paul's 100-yard kick return in the first quarter of last week's 51-41 Nebraska win. No penalty was called on Martin at the time.
Commissioner Dan Beebe said Wednesday if a subsequent review of the game reveals a flagrant personal foul officials did not call, the conference can impose sanctions.
"Mr. Martin committed a flagrant act of targeting an opponent with the crown of his helmet in violation of NCAA Football Rules," Beebe said. "This dangerous hit is one that we in the football community are trying to remove from the game."
Nebraska coach Bo Pelini declined to comment on the suspension.
Martin, who has 20 tackles in seven games, is the third player suspended this week at an FBC or FCS school. The Southeastern Conference suspended Mississippi State linebacker Chris Hughes for his hit to the head of a UAB receiver. The Big Sky Conference suspended Eastern Washington defensive back Artise Gauldin for a hit that targeted a Sacramento State player above the shoulders.
Hudson was running downfield on kick coverage when Martin approached from Hudson's left side and delivered a hit that knocked both players to the ground.
Hudson stayed down for several minutes before he was helped off the field. He did not return to the game.
Oklahoma State spokesman Gavin Lang said he couldn't disclose whether Hudson was hurt, citing coach Mike Gundy's policy on discussing injuries. Gundy had said Sunday that Hudson was "OK."
Lang said Gundy wouldn't comment on Martin's suspension.
Pelini, when asked Monday about above-the-shoulder hits, said players need to protect each other and learn proper tackling technique.
"Education is part of it," Pelini said. "Some of it is going to happen. It's an aggressive game. Things happen bang-bang. Seldom is anyone maliciously going after anyone's head."