Big 12 suspends Nebraska linebacker for helmet hit

Wednesday, October 27, 2010 | 8:45 p.m. CDT; updated 8:59 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 27, 2010

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."

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jack blair October 28, 2010 | 8:02 a.m.

Football is getting soft. Intimidation factor for hits in football was what it makes football an enjoy to watch. Punching after the tackle fighting or flagrantly hitting someone out of bounds has it merits for flags, but after the game judgments were flags were not thrown or having commisioners step in after the game to penalize a player or suspend them a game is a joke...Mr. Beebe etal Eric Martin of Nebraska for a hit he put on a OSU player...personally I think its a Beebe thing for NU going to Big 10...most important game in the North Division and Beebe takes a NU player away...go figure? on a play that had no flag?

Overall is getting soft...Defensive players are letting up on hits, can't touch receivers..go back to the bump and run...if the ball isn't in the air you have a right to impede a players progress without holding...five yard rule stinks...QBs are like gold...can't hit them...they got equipment on too...maybe it will make them think about running about playmaking if they were treated like everyone else...sorry but football is football all the players know that anytime could be there last time in a what? don't suit up then. Jack Tatum, Jack Ham, Mike Singletary...probably rolling their eyes on how soft football has become...excuse me but I am changing the channel...going to watch some real football...Rugby..later... my two cents!

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