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October 22, 2012GREENSBORO, N.C. - Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford has announced a series of reprimands and suspensions following the football games played on Saturday, October 20.
The announcement follows the league's weekly review of game footage as well as reports and interviews with officials and administrators.
Following the North Carolina at Duke game, a series of suspensions have been issued to a player and two officials.
North Carolina freshman linebacker Shakeel Rashad has received a one-game suspension for his dangerous collision against an unsuspecting Duke player during a substitution in the second quarter.
In addition, head linesman Tyrone Davis and side judge Angie Bartis have been issued one-game suspensions for failure to adhere to correct mechanics of the game and rules related to player safety.
"We are certainly glad that Conner Vernon was not injured," said UNC Athletics Director Bubba Cunningham.
"I spoke to Shakeel in the locker room after the game and he was obviously upset about making contact, but insisted that it unintentional and a result of rushing to get on the field as quickly he could."
"We are disappointed with the decision to suspend him for a game. I don't understand how the conference can suspend a player who was involved in such an unusual play without speaking to him."
"Shakeel is a really good kid who would never intentionally attempt to injure another player," added head coach Larry Fedora.
"Obviously, it was an unusual play, but knowing the type of young man that Shakeel is, I know he did not intentionally make contact with Conner."
"We were still making substitutions as Duke was lining up for its next play. Shakeel was trying to get on the field as quickly as possible and inadvertently ran into the receiver. We spoke after the game and Shakeel said he did not mean to collide with him. We're just glad that no one was injured," Fedora continued.
"I want to apologize to Duke's Conner Vernon for running into him during Saturday's game," said Rashad.
"I was in a hurry to get on the field and focused on where I was going. I have been playing football for most of my life and I have never been involved in that type of incident."
"I did not mean to run into him and I'm glad he was not hurt. He's a great receiver and I wish him the best."