Big 12 won’t say whether it will investigate punch to Maponga’s head during OU game

Big 12 wont say whether it will investigate punch to Mapongas head during OU game

A Big 12 Conference representative said the conference would not say whether it will look into the punch thrown by Oklahoma’s Tyrus Thompson in Saturday’s game against TCU.

Big 12 Assistant Commissioner of Communications Bob Burda said in an email that the Big 12 Conference "does not publicly acknowledge plays it may be reviewing," but an investigation is still a possibility.

“NCAA rule 9.3 gives conferences the authority to review plays involving flagrant fouls that game officials did not call,” Burda said in the email. “The conference may impose sanctions prior to the next scheduled game.”

Thompson, a sophomore, punched TCU defensive end Stansly Maponga in the head after the Sooners ran a play near the end of the first half. After an incomplete pass thrown by Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones, Maponga was on the ground following a block made by Thompson, who hit Maponga in the helmet twice before standing up.

Thompson received a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness, but was not removed from the game.

Section 10, Article 1 of the NCAA rulebook states that a “flagrant” foul is “a rule infraction so extreme or deliberate that it places an opponent in danger of catastrophic injury.”

Section 4 of the rulebook states that all flagrant offenders shall be disqualified.

A recent event involving a “flagrant hit” came in 2010, when Nebraska’s Eric Martin made a helmet-to-helmet hit on Oklahoma State’s Andrew Hudson during a Cornhusker kick return.

A post by Big 12 blogger David Ubben at the time said Martin’s hit did not yield a flag during that game, but then-Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe said Martin’s hit was a “flagrant act in violation of NCAA rules,” and Martin was suspended by the conference for one game. 

The conference has time to act on the incident with Thompson before Oklahoma takes the field again.

Oklahoma’s next scheduled game won’t come until late in bowl season. The Sooners will play in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 4 after finishing the season with an 8-1 record in Big 12 play and a 10-2 overall record.