Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Shareece Wright learns the definition of horse-collar
By Pedro Moura
For USC, it was a crucial moment in Saturday's game against Stanford.
The Trojans had just tied the score, 28-28, by virtue of a 6-yard touchdown catch by Robert Woods with 11 minutes to go in the fourth quarter and momentum appeared to be on their side for the first time in a while. But Cardinal dynamo Chris Owusu found open field on the ensuing kickoff and nearly took it back all the way -- stopped only by USC cornerback Shareece Wright, who was penalized for a horse-collar tackle.
But Wright learned Tuesday that what he was penalized for -- just as he suspected -- wasn't actually what the rules define as a horse-collar tackle. Because Wright let go before Owusu hit the ground, his tackle -- while still violent -- was technically clean. NCAA rules enacted in 2008 specify that a tackle must be finished all the way until the player is down to earn the 15-yard penalty for a horse-collar tackle.
He found that out during a break in practice, during which he approached one of the officials refereeing the practice and appeared to be demonstrating tackling by the shoulders to the ref.
It was maybe a one- or two-minute conversation, with the official also using Wright as a demo for what looked like the proper way to bring someone down. The conversation was soon interrupted when Wright went back onto the field with the first-team defense.
After practice, I asked him what he learned from the impromptu meeting. See what he said in this one-on-one video interview, and hear his comments on his growing reputation as a violent tackler and other topics: