SEC plans on rule change due to Rosegreen's hit

Reggie Brown

ATHENS - Spurred by the hit Auburn's Junior Rosegreen made on Georgia's Reggie Brown on Saturday, the SEC is planning to propose a rule change regarding helmet-to-helmet contact, Bobby Gaston, the league's director of officials, said Tuesday.

Gaston and SEC commissioner Mike Slive met Tuesday to discuss a proposal that will be presented to the NCAA Rules Committee at its annual meeting in February and could go into effect as early as next year, Gaston said.

"The unfortunate thing is the rulebook says intentionally goes helmet-to-helmet," he said. "That's a pretty tough ruling. I want the word intentional taken out and then everybody understands that even if it's unintentional there's going to be a penalty."

Junior Rosegreen was not called for a personal foul on the play and will not be penalized by the league office. It's almost impossible, Gaston said, to label a play intentional unless it comes against a player who is being held up by a teammate or is on the ground.

Gaston has reviewed Rosegreen's hit on Brown "about 100 times" in the last two days, he said. He has included a replay of it from several angles on a training tape for officials, although he said he only put it on there as a point of discussion and didn't label it as an illegal hit.

It's clear, though, he has concerns about the play, particularly since Rosegreen already had been called for a personal foul earlier in that drive for pushing Fred Gibson in the back.

"They're all questionable when they go in like that," he said. "The same guy had been called for a foul shortly before that for a hit on a defenseless player."

Brown left Georgia's practice facility just as the Bulldogs took the field Tuesday afternoon and went to have more precautionary tests run at St. Mary's Hospital. He did not return and made no comments to the media before he left.

"I think he's about to get a clean bill of health," Coach Mark Richt said.

Richt said Sunday that he didn't think Rosegreen's hit was intentional. Still, Gaston said he will mention the play to Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville if he talks to Tuberville this .

"We're getting more and more guys who are going in with their head whether it's intentional or not," he said. "It's something college football needs to work on getting cleaned up. We're all concerned one of these days we're going to end up with a tragedy on our hands.

"Hopefully, we can get more teeth put into the rule."

NOTES: Defensive end Will Thompson said Tuesday he will apply for a sixth year of eligibility after the season is over, in hopes of returning to the team next year. Richt said he thinks Thompson will get his sixth year.

Defensive end David Pollack was named Tuesday as one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Award, which goes to the nation's top defensive player. Marshall's Jonathan Goddard, Wisconsin's Erasmus James, Texas' Derrick Johnson and Auburn's Carlos Rogers are the other finalists.

Georgia's men's basketball team added a fifth signee on Wednesday when Kendrick Johnson, a 6-foot-10, 235-pound center out of Morton, Texas, chose the Bulldogs over Virginia Tech. Johnson's signing means Georgia is set up to have 13 scholarship players next year, one more than is allowed due to its NCAA sanctions. "We have so many question marks, that I know things will work out," Coach Dennis Felton said.

Basketball player Marcus Sikes remains on indefinite suspension. "There's a chance," he won't play this year, Felton said. "It's all up to Marcus."

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