By - October 28, 2010

Poll: Eric Martin Suspension – Safety First or Big XII BS?

If you haven’t heard by now, Nebraska linebacker Eric Martin has been suspended for the Missouri game this Saturday. Martin blocked Oklahoma State’s Andrew Hudson as his teammate Niles Paul returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. If you haven’t seen it, here’s the video. The hit is replayed from several angles around the 1:36 mark.

Should Eric Martin have been suspended by the Big XII?

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ABC commentator Ed Cunningham then delivered a lengthy and dramatic diatribe about the hit, stopping just short of calling Eric Martin a criminal. The words “two hand touch” never came up, but they might as well have. If you take the time to watch the replay, you will clearly see that Martin lead with his shoulder and arms on what was a borderline hit, at worst.

Now, Big XII Commissioner Dan Beebe has decided that Eric Martin should be the first player in the Big XII to ever be suspended under a rule that was implemented at the start of last season. With no precedent, and no policy or standard in place to determine how suspensions are handed out, Beebe has unilaterally decided that a Nebraska player will be suspended for a hit that was debatable at worst, just 3 days before what is arguably the biggest game for either Missouri or Nebraska this season.

It’s hard to believe that Beebe isn’t harboring a bit of ill will toward the team that nearly sent him to the unemployment line this summer. It’s also obvious that Beebe’s worst case scenario would be Nebraska winning the league championship before leaving for the Big Ten next season. Given that, do you really think he’s in a position to deliver objective, unbiased decisions in cases like this? I don’t.

For further proof, check out this video from an Oklahoma State game earlier this season:

This hit was at least as bad, if not worse, than Martin’s. A quarterback was targeted by a defensive player, resulting in the QB’s helmet being jarred loose after an obvious helmet-to-helmet hit. The Fox announcer calls it a “good, clean hit” and no suspension was issued.

This is just one more example of Dan Beebe being unfit to lead the Big XII Conference. As a life-long Husker fan, all I can say is, “Good riddance!”

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