Bowden Will Not Seek Action For NC State Dirty Play

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - If Atlantic Coast Coast Conference officials are going to discipline N.C. State linebacker Oliver Hoyte for intentionally gouging the eye of Clemson running back Reggie Merriweather, they'll do so strictly on their own.

Tigers' head coach Tommy Bowden said Wednesday he has seen tape of the Merriweather incident. He's also seen footage of Wolfpack wide receiver John Dunlap blatantly spitting in the face of Clemson linebacker Leroy Hill.

But Bowden said he won't be sending either clip to the conference.

"I don't condone it. I know they're not taught to do that - gouge an eyeball and a guy comes out 5-10 plays," he said following Wednesday's practice. "I'm sure they don't teach it and the guy just got caught up in the emotion of the game. I'm sure they'll address it when they find out about it.

"I don't even know if they're aware of it. If my guys did it I'd like to be made aware of it, and I'd correct it."

Video tape of the incident shows Hoyte assisting on a tackle of Merriweather with 9:37 left in the fourth quarter of last Saturday's 26-20 Clemson win over the Wolfpack.

Watched in slow motion it's clear that Hoyte - the last defender off the pile - jams his left hand into Merriweather's facemask before getting to his feet. Merriweather stayed on the ground for a few seconds before finally getting up and walking off the field, obviously perturbed by the incident.

The play left Merriweather with a cut over and bruises surrounding his eye.

Later in the quarter, Dunlap was caught spitting through the facemask of Hill as he passed the Clemson linebacker on his way back to the huddle.

Pressed as to why he's not sending tape of either incident to the ACC office, Bowden chose his words carefully.

"You know, emotions of the game. I'm sure we're not angels. I'm sure they could find some tape on my guys," he said. "If they did I wish they'd send it to me so I could see it. I'm sure they'll address it. It doesn't need to get public.

"If Chuck were to call me and say 'Hey Tommy, this happened,' I'd address it, and I could address it without it being sent to the conference."

Asked if he has heard from Amato since the game, Bowden smiled.

"I got a nice letter from him today," he said.

Asked if Amato addressed the issue, Bowden repeated himself.

"I got a nice letter from him today."

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