Nigel Bradham Hit Was 'Legal,' Says ACC After Review

FSU's Nigel Bradham delivered "a legal hit" late in the Miami game, the ACC has decreed.

The ACC has appeared to hem and haw somewhat on whether and how Nigel Bradham of the Florida St. Seminoles should've been punished for his hit against the Miami Hurricanes. Bradham was flagged and ejected after the play, with the specter of suspension still looming.

Here's video of the hit, in case you haven't seen it yet. As you can see, it's a gruesome event, but the primary point of contact is shoulder-to-chest:

And here's the ACC's statement:

The Atlantic Coast Conference Office has completed its NCAA mandated review of the play that occurred at 1:58 of the 4th quarter of the Miami @ Florida State game in which Florida State's Nigel Bradham was flagged for "Unsportsmanlike Conduct- Targeting an Opponent."

Plays involving unsportsmanlike conduct and player safety have been an increasing point of emphasis within NCAA rules based upon the American Football Coaches Association and NCAA initiatives implemented to reduce the number of concussions.

Rule 9, Section 1, Article 4 of the NCAA Football Rules states: "No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, elbow or shoulder. When in question, it is a foul." A defenseless opponent includes a receiver whose attention is focused on receiving the ball. If the officials deem a foul flagrant, the offending player must be ejected.

Officials are required to make instantaneous decisions during high-speed game action. The officials ruled that there was question as to whether contact occurred to the head or neck area of Miami's #2 and that the action was against a defenseless player. When there is question as to the specific area of contact, in accordance with NCAA rules which requires officials to err on the side of player safety, Unsportsmanlike Conduct must be called.

Following the required video review by the Conference Office, it has been determined that the contact made by Florida State's Bradham was not to the head or neck of the receiving player nor was it flagrant. The play was a legal hit and no further action will be taken by the Conference Office.

For more on the Noles, visit FSU blog Tomahawk Nation.

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