FROM PULLMAN — The Pac-12 announced Tuesday that Washington State safety Deone Bucannon will be suspended for the first half of WSU's game at UNLV on Friday.
Bucannon was flagged for a late hit in the fourth quarter of the Cougars' 24-20 win over Eastern Washington on Saturday. After an incomplete pass, Bucannon appeared to launch himself into EWU receiver Greg Herd, who left the game and didn't return. EWU announced later that Herd suffered a concussion.
(CougCenter has a good look at the hit.)
In a statement released by the conference, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said “this disciplinary action was part of our weekly review of all targeting and unnecessary roughness hits.
“In order to appropriately protect our student-athletes, it is imperative that we monitor and when needed, act in situations where a blow to the head of a defenseless player was flagrant and/or unwarranted, especially in situations where the hit occurred well after the play was over.”
As noted in the release, all penalties involving a blow to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent are to be reviewed by the league office, except in cases when the player is ejected from the game.
Bucannon, WSU's most experienced defensive back, will likely be replaced in the lineup by either Tyree Toomer or Anthony Carpenter. Toomer subbed in for him immediately after the hit on Saturday.
Coach Mike Leach said yesterday: “It was a late hit, it was a bad hit and it’s something we don’t tolerate.”