COLLEGE NOTEBOOK: SEC won’t punish Alabama DE for hit on UGA QB Murray; UNC RB Bernard, the No. 1-rated NFL prospect, declares for draft

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Southeastern Conference won’t suspend Alabama defensive end Quinton Dial for a hit on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray.

The league said in a statement Friday that it had reviewed video of that play and others in the SEC championship game and that the two schools would handle any punishments internally.

Dial leveled Murray during a second-quarter interception return. He was not penalized on the play.

The SEC statement says the conference is satisfied with actions taken by the schools. The Crimson Tide plays Notre Dame for the national title on Jan. 7 in Miami.

Coach Nick Saban typically doesn’t disclose any internal punishments.

Dial has played in all but one game and his 21 tackles, include 4.5 behind the line of scrimmage.

UNC’S BERNARD GOING PRO: North Carolina tailback Gio Bernard is entering the NFL draft after his sophomore season.

Bernard is draft-eligible because he has been out of high school for three seasons. He missed the 2010 season with a knee injury, then became a first-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection the next two seasons. He also earned third-team All-America honors from The AP this week.

Bernard, the No. 1-rated running back prospect by ESPN, led the ACC in rushing, scoring, all-purpose yards and punt-return average.

Bernard ran for 1,228 yards and 12 touchdowns despite missing two games and most of another with a knee injury. He ranked 11th nationally by averaging 122.8 yards per game.

POOLE SET TO JOIN TECH: Solomon Poole, a highly-rated guard from Jacksonville, Fla., who signed a letter-of-intent with Georgia Tech in November and graduated from North Florida Educational Institute this fall, has been certified eligible to play for the Yellow Jackets.

The 6-0 Poole had been admitted to the Institute last week and was eligible to begin practicing with the basketball team this Saturday, the first day following the conclusion of the fall semester at Tech.

“Our program is really excited to have Solomon join us at this time,” said Gregory, whose team is 6-2. “I’m really proud of all the hard work he has put in to get himself into this position. I know Solomon is ready to help this team in any way he can, and in any role possible. While this is great for our program currently, it will also accelerate Solomon’s progress in the future.”

A 2012 all-state guard at Terry Parker High School in Jacksonville, where he averaged 21 points a game, Poole is a four-star prospect by Rivals and Scout, rated as high as 14th among all prep players at one point and currently No. 37 in his class in both rating services. He played on the AAU circuit for the Atlanta Celtics, and his father, Stacey, played college ball at Florida.

“Solomon has the explosiveness and athletic ability that fits in extremely well with our style of play,” Gregory said on the day Poole signed his letter of intent. “I really like his ability to create scoring opportunities for others and for himself in both the open-court and half-court situations. His tremendous work ethic and toughness will allow him to immediately compete on the ACC level.”

He joins his brother Stacey, Jr., who becomes eligible next week for the Yellow Jackets, making them the first brothers to be on the same Tech basketball team since Jon and Drew Barry in 1991-92.


FryarTuk 2 years, 11 months ago

Nick Saban has a lot of pull with SEC office which wants another NC in the Conference. That was a very bad hit and it should have been called. The referees that missed it should be marked down. In fact they were soft on Bama the entire game. UGA played very well but lost so no sour grapes here. It was the best game I've seen since SUGAR bowl of 1981 which by the way was against Notre Dame. ROLL TIDE.


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