Did Wilbur Hackett Jr. intentionally tackle SC QB Stephen Garcia

There is a lot of talk about bad calls from this past weekend, but the play getting the most attention is when umpire Wilbur Hackett Jr. collided with South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia.  Depending on who you ask, it was either intentionally and very inappropriate, or it was just an unfortunate collision.

The SEC, along with SC coach Steve Spurrier, have cleared Hackett of any wrongdoing.  When I saw the play live, it looked that way to me as well.  If someone was coming at me, instinct would be to raise my arm and deflect the blow.

However, slow-motion replays tell a somewhat different story.  They make it look more like it was intentional, so I don’t know what to think.

The video is below.  What do you think?


  1. seems pretty obvious that this was intentional… did they ever figure out what this guy was thinking?

  2. It appears he has a fantasy of playing football. That was intentional. He moved into position and struck. If that happened on the street it would be assault consumated by a battery. Guilty as charged.

  3. Defending himself would have been putting your arms up and pushing away from the hit. He lowered his shoulder and stepped into him.

    It was intentional.

  4. watch his feet, he moves latterly to square his shoulders like he was taught to tackle when he played linebacker. THROW HIM OUT!!!!!

  5. If you think a little bit about football referee mechanics, I don’t understand why the umpire is covering the flat in the first place the umpire usually covers the middle of the field between the tackles. I am not sure what was going through his mind, but it definately seems intentional to me.

  6. LOL! That’s so funny! I could care less about both teams, but yeah it looks like he did it intentionally. He must have had money on the spread for over/under. But it doesn’t really matter it’s so funny!

  7. As an umpire, I totally know where this guy is coming from. On multiple occasions, offensive players will try to use me as a “pick,” Any offensive player that does not avoid me gets my best shoulder. It only happens once, then the players do start to avoid me.