A bone-rattling hit on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray is under review by the Southeastern Conference and could potentially keep the Alabama defensive lineman who delivered it from playing the BCS championship game next month.
Murray was knocked down by Alabama defensive lineman Quinton Dial after throwing an interception late in the second quarter of Saturday’s SEC championship game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, and the quarterback needed assistance getting off the field after the play.
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said film of the hit is under review by the league. In question is whether it was legal.
Dial made contact with his right shoulder and the hit included helmet-to-helmet contact. Murray, who was watching Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix return the interception, said he was caught off guard and had the wind knocked out of him. The play was still live when Dial delivered the hit.
“I knew I was fine, I just had the wind knocked out of me,” Murray said shortly after Saturday’s game. “It wasn’t anything to do with the head. I just couldn’t breathe for a few seconds.”
It is common for teams to submit video of on-field incidents and officiating calls for the league to review after each game.
SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw told AL.com that he has seen the video and believes the officials missed the call. In an official review, SEC commissioner Mike Slive will try to determine whether Murray was defenseless and if contact was first made above the shoulders, which would be a violation of NCAA rules.
The SEC has suspended multiple players this season for similar hits this season.
McGarity said he did not know when the SEC might issue a ruling.