Shakeel Rashad, freshman bandit on the North Carolina football team, has been suspended for one game by the Atlantic Coast Conference for his contact with Duke wide receiver Conner Vernon on Saturday.
In the second quarter of UNC’s 33-30 loss at Wallace Wade Stadium, Rashad was late getting on to the field and while trying to get to the Tar Heels’ side of the line of scrimmage ran into the Blue Devil receiver.
Vernon was not injured on the play.
“We are certainly glad that Conner Vernon was not injured. 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,” UNC Athleic Director Bubba Cunningham said in a release. “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.”
Cunningham, coach Larry Fedora and Rashad insist the play was unintentional but, if nothing else, it was a very odd play.