POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Sep 5, 2010
University of Hawaii head football coach Greg McMackin is seeking a "clarification" from the Western Athletic Conference of a play in which quarterback Bryant Moniz was struck on the helmet and forced to leave in the third quarter of Thursday's season-opening loss.
Moniz said he did not suffer a concussion when he was hit by Southern California linebacker Michael Morgan, although he was not medicallly cleared to return to the game. Moniz also was held out of yesterday's 1-hour practice in preparation for Saturday's road game against Army.
McMackin said he made a formal request for the WAC, of which UH is a member, to review that play, as well as a few others he felt needed "clarification." The WAC assigned the officiating crew for the nationally televised game.
McMackin insisted Moniz was struck on the helmet while scrambling toward the end zone.
"No doubt about that," McMackin said. "I saw it in person. I saw it on the (scoreboard monitor). That's what I believe. ... When somebody gets knocked down like that, then obviously somebody hit him somewhere."
Moniz crumpled in a dazed heap. After being examined by Dr. Andrew Nichols and two athletic trainers, Moniz was escorted to Aloha Stadium's training room for further examination.
"It was just a hit," Moniz said. "It's football. Clean hit. Dirty hit. He was just trying to tackle me. That's all. It wasn't whether it was clean or not. He got his job done."
After the game, Morgan told the Star-Advertiser it was not an illegal hit, and that he was trying to tackle Moniz, who made a cutback in the open field.
"I don't want to get anybody in trouble," McMackin said. "The game is over. Morgan is a good football player. I don't think he did it on purpose. I just want to get a clarification from the officials' standpoint. I don't want him to miss any games. I'm not doing it for that. That game is so far behind me."
WAC commissioner Karl Benson said Jim Blackwood, the league's supervisor of officials, reviews every play of every game involving a WAC team "regardless if UH requested a review or not."
Benson said Blackwood is reviewing videos of the hit on Moniz and "at some point in time, there will be a response whether it was an unsportsmanlike play or not."
Reviews of plays are used to help grade officials who are under the WAC's jurisdiction.
Because it was a nonconference game, Benson said, the "WAC has no jurisdiction over USC."
McMackin said he also is seeking "clarification" of two plays he believes could have been ruled UH touchdowns.
Slotback Greg Salas made a catch, rolled over a fallen USC defender, and stretched toward the end zone. After the play was reviewed, the referee, whose on-field microphone was broken, appeared to signal a touchdown. Soon after, it was indicated that he was showing that Salas was stopped a yard from the goal line.
McMackin said wideout Rodney Bradley appeared to have possession of a pass for two steps in the end zone before losing control when he hit the turf.
"We want a clarification so we can do it right and understand," McMackin said. "Being an official is a tough job. We understand that."
Bradley, who reportedly coughed up blood after that play, is not injured and will start against Army, McMackin said.
Moniz said he is ready to play against Army. He said he expects to participate when the Warriors resume practicing tomorrow. He said he did not experience nausea, dizziness nor headaches. His only ailment is a bruised ego.
"I watched (video of the hit) a lot of times," Moniz said. "I thought it was funny. I thought, 'Oh, my God, I got laid out. I thought everybody across the nation saw that. 'Oh, you got laid out.'"