Emerick Suspended, Will Miss Rest of RWC

Via my e-mail …

For Immediate Release
September 11, 2007

USA’s Paul Emerick Suspended for Five Weeks

PARIS (RNS) – Following a RWC 2007 judicial hearing the Judicial Officer (JO) Professor Lorne Crerar upheld the citing complaint and determined that the USA’s Paul Emerick (Pella, Iowa) was guilty of a dangerous tackle on England fly half Olly Barkley and handed down a five week suspension on the Eagles’ star center.

“The five week ban would effectively end Paul Emerick’s 2007 World Cup and would be a severe blow not only to Paul, but to the U.S. Team as a whole,” USA Rugby CEO and President of Rugby Nigel Melville said.

The JO considered that the offence was intentional, that there was a deliberate tipping motion in the tackle with an element of force driving the opposing player in a downward motion. This led to the opposing player being stunned immediately after the tackle, that he was vulnerable and unable to protect his position.

The JO believed that the act was premeditated in the lifting and twisting of the opposing player and considered this to be a top end offence.

There were no aggravating factors, however there were several mitigating factors including: the player’s good record; the good behavior of the player and his representatives from USA Rugby at the hearing; and the fact that the player has shown remorse in relation to the incident.

As a top end offence it carries a 10+ week suspension. However, the JO decided that in this case the suspension would be for five weeks in light of the mitigating factors.

The player has 48 hours in which to appeal the decision. In the meantime, the U.S. has named center Albert Tuipulotu (San Mateo, Calif.) to fill Emerick’s position at outside center for tomorrow’s match against Tonga, while Philip Eloff (Chicago) will be ready to go in as his reserve.

For more information on the U.S. Eagles Rugby Team, please vist http://www.usarugby.org/goto/mens_eagles. For more information on the Rugby World Cup, please visit http://www.rugbyworldcup.com

And here’s the video of the tackle:

My boyfriend says the Eagles are losing to Tonga right now. One has to wonder if Emerick’s suspension affected the attitude of the team at all.

What do you think?

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