ACC reviewed LoVante Battle's helmet-to-helmet hit on Duke WR Conner Vernon
The Atlantic Coast Conference reviewed on Monday a helmet-to-helmet hit initiated by a Virginia player during Saturday's game at Duke. Conference officials determined that the hit made by sophomore linebacker LoVante Battle on Blue Devils wide receiver Conner Vernon during a second-half kickoff return was an act of targeting a defenseless player above the shoulders and should have been penalized, according to Doug Rhoads, the ACC's football officiating coordinator.
No penalty flag was thrown on the play, which occured with 9 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Vernon remained on the ground for a few minutes after absorbing the hit. He eventually was helped off the field by Duke's medical staff and did not return to the game.
A Duke team spokesman would not say whether Vernon suffered a concussion on the play and would only state that the receiver suffered a head injury. Vernon -- one of the ACC's top wideouts -- will be held out of practice for at least part of this week, according to the Durham Herald-Sun.
Rhoads said no further action will be taken against Battle because the act was not deemed to have been worthy of a flagrant foul. Rhoads, along with ACC Commissioner John Swofford and Associate Commissioner for Football Operations Michael Kelly, reviewed the play at the conference's headquarters in Greensboro, N.C. early Monday afternoon. Rhoads said he spoke with Virginia Coach Mike London to discuss the play and inform him of the conference's decision.
Had the hit been deemed worthy of a flagrant foul, the ACC could have chosen to serve Battle, London and the school with letters of reprimand or to suspend Battle for one game. Rhoads said the ACC has never had to suspend a player for a flagrant hit.
Rhoads noted that further action could be taken against the officials involved in the missed call, but he said that matter will be handled internally.
ACC officials review questionable calls each week to see whether response or further action by the conference is necessary. Plays during which a player potentially targeted a defenseless opponent or initiated contact with the crown of an opponent's helmet require mandatory review by conference officials, as do all flagrant fouls.
| November 8, 2010; 7:03 PM ET
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