Senior linebacker Andrew Wilson will be suspended through the first half of Missouri’s next game against Indiana on Sept. 21, Southeastern Conference officials confirmed after MIssouri’s win Saturday over Toledo.
During the first drive of the second half, Wilson, the Tigers’ captain and leading tackler in 2012, was flagged for “targeting” when he hit Rocket senior receiver Bernard Reedy in the head while breaking up a pass.
Due to a 2013 rules modification, Wilson was ejected from the game and will miss the first half of Missouri’s next game.
Starting this season, players called for targeting a defenseless player with a hit above the shoulders will receive not only the previous penalty of 15 yards but will also be ejected from the game. If the infraction occurs in the second half of the game, the penalized player must also sit out the first half of his team’s next game.
Wilson is the first player to fall victim to the rule for the Tigers (2-0). On the play, the flag came in late, and Missouri fans expressed their displeasure with the call.
“I’d have to see(the replay),” coach Gary Pinkel said. “(It was a) critical, critical play because he’s a real good player and he’s out the first half of our Indiana game.”
Although Pinkel said he did not get to see the play, he said he understands the reasoning behind the rule.
“Bottom line is you can’t hit above the shoulders,” Pinkel said. “You can’t hit near the shoulder line, you can’t do it. He’s on my team. He’s a great kid. He would never try to hurt anybody, but we have to protect the game. We’ve got to protect kids.”
There is no appeals process through the NCAA or the SEC for the penalty. However, replay officials look at all targeting calls during the game and can reverse the ejection if they determine referees made an incorrect call on the field.
The Maneater requested Wilson be made available for comment, but he did not address the media following the game.