COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 12: D.J. Swearinger #36 of the South Carolina Gamecocks celebrates after making a defensive stop against the Florida Gators during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 12, 2011 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The South Carolina senior is the second SEC player this season to be suspended for a game for a hit to the head of an opponent.
South Carolina free safety D.J. Swearinger is the second SEC defender in as many weeks to receive a suspension from the league office for hard hitting. The Gamecocks senior was suspended one game on Monday by the SEC for an illegal hit in South Carolina's 49-6 win over UAB.
According to the SEC, the hit came at the 5:46 mark in the third quarter, and violated the NCAA rule stating "No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, elbow or shoulder."
Video of the hit:
These rules are for the protection of the health and safety of our players on both sides of the ball. It is imperative that our student-athletes understand the importance of this rule. Our motivation in making these decisions is to protect our student-athletes.
Swearinger scored the first touchdown of the game against UAB when he returned a fumble 65 yards in the first quarter. He is seventh on the team in tackles and has one interception.
Ole Miss freshman cornerback Trae Elston was suspended last week by the SEC for a hit the league claims violated the same rule.