Tim Tebow’s Hard Hit

Tim Tebow is a god. Not only does he dominate the college football landscape, but he also spends his spring break helping poor children in the Philippines, and I have heard that his tears may or may not cure cancer. It may seem like there is nothing Tebow cannot do, but this past Saturday we finally saw his limits.

During Florida’s game against the University of Kentucky, Tebow was absolutely crushed by Kentucky defensive end Taylor Wyndham, as the 290 pound lineman picked Tebow up and brought all of his weight down upon the falling quarterback. The hit gave Tebow a concussion and forced him to leave the game, and there was even video evidence of Tebow, the great one, vomiting on the sidelines.

But I am not just writing to say that we have found Tebow’s weakness. No, there is a larger problem here. It has been harped upon a lot in the National Football League how big hits are extremely dangerous for the players, and we have seen a lot of precautions taken in the pro game.

Last year, in a game between the Jets and Cardinals, Arizona wide receiver Anquan Boldin was hit so hard, on a helmet-to-helmet collision, that he broke his cheekbone and was forced to miss a handful of games. After that tremendous hit, the league responded as if they themselves had been hurt. Helmet-to-helmet hits were cracked down upon, as the fines were raised and a one-game suspension was set. Although this rule will never completely get rid of these plays, it sure seems to have helped.

Unfortunately, the NCAA has not handled hits like these in the same way. In the NFL we are dealing with players who are paid to be on the field on Sundays. While I am by no means condoning an injury, at least there is some compensation for being on the wrong end of a hard hit. In college the majority of the players on the field will never receive money for their work; they are simply playing for the love of the game. For this reason alone, the NCAA must start taking action against plays that may jeopardize the health of a player.

Now do not get me wrong, just like any sports fan, I love a hard hit. Although they sometimes make me shudder, I am always down to watch replay after replay of a vicious collision. It is one of the exciting parts of football. However, after the majority of these hits there is a player (or two) left lying on the field, trying, with the help of multiple trainers, to get the cobwebs out of his head. If I was ever on the receiving end of one of those hits, I would not just have cobwebs in my head, I would be out cold. As viewers, we must understand that the health of these players outweighs whatever fun we get from watching these blows.

I am not asking for the NCAA to copy the NFL’s decision to suspend players. All I want is for the college game to have consistent calling and reprecussions for these dangerous hits. Regardless of whether the game happens in the stereotypically hard-hitting SEC or the supposedly soft Pac-10, a hit to the head should warrant a 15-yard penalty. In the end it will help the game, because I know I would rather see Tim Tebow on the field instead of puking on the sidelines.