Ha-Ha’s Premature Ejection

Confusion abound in the 2nd quarter of the Alabama game yesterday when Junior safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix was ejected from the game for “Targeting”.  Some of you may have read the blog by Nichole when this happened during the first game of the season for Oregon.  It seems everyone was scratching their heads and wondering what was going on?  However, the Alabama penalty was an even bigger head scratcher because the ejection was OVER-TURNED by officials, but the 15 yard penalty remained.

How can that be?

Clearly, watching the play, it was an accidental collision; they were both running full speed and the hit, in doing so, their helmets met.  That automatically called for the targeting penalty flag to be thrown.  One part of the rule states that no player should “initiate contact” with the crown of his helmet.  I believe we all knew it was not intentional.  However, another section of the rule states that no player should 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.”  So I believe they called this penalty based on that wording.

The bigger question remained, how did the 15 yard penalty remain but the ejection got overturned?

The rule goes on to say that the replay official “must have conclusive evidence that a player should not be ejected to overturn the call on the field”.  This is where I believe the official put this part of the rule in to play, because he knew it was an accident, therefore he overturned the ejection.

To many Alabama fan’s relief, Ha Ha was allowed to continue playing and remained in for the rest of the game.

About Tracie Marcum (139 Articles)
Tracie's favorite things in the world are writing, photography and football. She has been lucky enough to have been able to pursue her dreams that involve all of these. Tracie is the Director, Contributor Relations lead and Development liason as well as sports writer for gridirongirl.org. She has had the opportunity to work at the world's most renowned and respected sports magazine, Sports Illustrator in New York City as Picture Editor. Tracie travels far and wide to search for the best stories, the best pictures and the best fashion available to be able to contribute all of her talents to the gridirongirl.org audience. gridirongirl.org is a site by women for women - it's THE "Girls Guide to Game Day" Roll Tide!

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