Troy official implies late hits by FAU player

A nomination for Sun Belt players of the week included allegations of two late hits by a Florida Atlantic player, including one that resulted in a season-ending injury to Troy quarterback Jamie Hampton.

In ballots sent out Sunday by the Sun Belt office, the nomination for Hampton talked about his accomplishments through three quarters, and then added: "FAU defensive end Robert St. Clair dove in late on a QB keeper and delivered a bulls-eye to Hampton's knee, tearing the ACL and MCL and ending his season."

The nomination then ended with a second accusation: "Ironically, St. Clair took out Troy center Danny Franks two plays later on a similar dive into the pile."

The injuries occurred during Tuesday's game at Lockhart Stadium, with Troy winning 30-17.
 

Troy Athletic Media Relations Director Ricky Hazel denied that he was accusing St. Clair of late hits.

"I wasn't to trying to say it was dirty. My main point was that in a three-play stretch he took out our quarterback and center. It was just one of those freak things that happens," Hazel said.

When made aware of the wording on the ballot, John McElwain, Sun Belt Associate Commissioner/Communications, said he had not had time to read them before he sent them out.

McElwain apologized and said he took responsibility. "I should have edited them before I sent them out. There were mistakes made in several places, and I apologize to Robert St. Clair and FAU," McElwain said.

There were no penalties for late hits on either of the plays mentioned, and McElwain said Troy had made no official protest or request for review by the Sun Belt.

FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger was aware of the accusations and made this statement Sunday: "I am saddened that Jamie Hampton, after playing such an outstanding game against us, sustained such a serious injury. It is disheartening anytime a player has a season ending injury."