Clowney's big hit deemed legal

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) - After much debate and further review it seems the hit that made South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney a household name was perfectly legal.

On Tuesday, Steve Shaw, the SEC's coordinator of officials, appeared on the Tim Brando radio show and said coordinators from all of football's major conferences have discussed the issue and are now on the same page, agreeing that Clowney's fumble-inducing hit on Michigan's Vincent Smith was not targeting. It was a legal hit.

There was considerable discussion about the issue last week when Doug Rhoads, the ACC's head of officials, said Clowney's internet sensation hit would lead to an ejection under new targeting rules this season that look to increase player safety by reducing helmet-to-helmet collisions. At the time, Rhoads also indicated Clowney could have been thrown out last season under head-to-head contact rules.

Fox Sports analyst and former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira also said Clowney's hit would likely lead to an ejection under the new rules.

Shaw explained Tuesday the hit was clean because the ball-carrier was not defenseless and it was what is considered a form, wrap-up tackle as opposed to a launch or spear with Clowney's head.