First, and I think this is important to get out of the way as a matter of my perspective: No, I don't think Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe is out to get Nebraska. I don't think he's great at his job, but I don't think he's blatantly stupid.
Second, I didn't like the hit by Martin. I thought it was targeting. I don't believe it was an intentional hit to the head. I think you can clearly see Martin aiming for the chest, and then Andrew Hudson, the OSU player injured on the play, reacting to what was an obviously very hard hit. But I didn't like the hit. That may be just me.
OK, now with that out of the way, what perception says to me about this issue is that Dan Beebe, playing the political side of his job which I would say has to combine some political savvy with a true business sense – has succumbed to the greatest sin of all politicians.
Well, outside of those that cross legal boundaries.
He went kneejerk. But it wasn't just a jerk. It was one of those pull-the-entire-leg-out-of-the-socket reactions to what happened in the NFL just over a week ago, when multiple hits were fined and then used as the rallying cry by the NFL for this new zero tolerance policy for what they deemed to be flagrant hits.
This is the official statement by Beebe:
Martin committed a flagrant act of targeting an opponent with the crown
of his helmet in violation of NCAA Football Rules. This dangerous hit
is one that we in the football community are trying to remove from the
So, Martin's hit is the first flagrant hit in the Big 12 this year?
So, this is the first hit in the conference that was deemed intentionally malicious?
Let's remember, there was no flag for this hit.
Not like the one freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez took in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma State, right around the 6:15 mark when Cowboy defensive tackle Nigel Nicholas delivered what was seemingly a pretty deliberate shot to Martinez' head.
That was flagged.
|Eric Martin will now miss the game which will probably decide the North, the showdown with Missouri this weekend.|
I guess he must have missed that one. Maybe he ran out of tape. Maybe hitting someone in the head is permissible by the conference as long as it isn't with your head.
Oh wait, they threw the flag.
So, it's a penalty, but no suspension, whereas with Martin's hit, it's not a penalty, but worth missing a game.
You see where this is going.
It's about consistency. Just like an umpire's strike zone, you may not like it, but if it's the same all the time you can respect it.
Well, Mr. Beebe just set a precedent with this suspension, and now we can see if he's going to monitor every single hit of every single game and levy the same penalties on those players as he did here.
If he does that, he's consistent and life goes on.
If he doesn't, the conspiracy theorists who are mostly clad in Scarlet and Cream will have a little fuel for their fire. As far as they are concerned, Beebe did this to Nebraska, because it was Nebraska. Texas beating them made him smile, but suspending one of their players for a game made him beam.
You know that's what they think. Go to any Husker message board and you will see.
I don't believe that though. Regardless of whatever feelings he may have, I think that the only thing Beebe is guilty of is being completely reactionary in this instance, because he has high powered opinions to appease. I don't think he's doing this, because he suddenly developed a conscience when it comes to these types of hits. Or was that hit by Martin the very first flagrant hit committed in the history of the Big 12 or at least, since he's been its Commissioner?
Yeah, probably not.
The NFL spoke and Beebe listened. It's too bad that when college football speaks, the NFL could care less.
But I digress.
As it is, what Beebe has done is set a standard he now must follow. You suspend one, you had better suspend them all.
Maybe he doesn't care if everyone will think he's a complete hypocrite. But it would be better that they think it rather than him sitting on his hands the next time a hit like this happens, and knowing it beyond a doubt.