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For those wondering about the Hodge ejection

For those wondering about the determination that Walter Hodge should have been ejected list night, here is the rule:

Rule 4, Sect. 26, Art. 7. When during the course of play, an individual strikes an opponent with the hand, elbow, arm, foot, knee or leg in a non-confrontational manner but the act is excessive or severe, it shall be ruled as a flagrant foul and not a fighting action. When a defined body part is used to strike an opponent but the contact is not severe or excessive, a judgment shall be made by the official as to whether the contact is intentional.

This is why the officials "had no choice" but to call a flagrant technical foul.  You will note that there is no "intent" element to the offense -- this foul apparently must be called even on accidental contact if it is "severe or excessive," regardless of intent.  My suspicion here is that the officials may have begged off if it was clearly and incontrovertibly accidental, but the replay you can see here does not allow for any such determination.  In other words, it looks as likely to have been intentional as accidental.

I think that's why the officials had no real choice in the matter.  It was clearly severe and excessive, and since intent is not an element of the offense (unless the contact is not severe or excessive) but the body part in question (i.e. Hodge's foot) is an element, it had to be called by rule.

A dead-ball flagrant foul is a technical foul under Rule 10, Section 3, "Player/Substitute Technical Fouls," Article 16:

Art. 16. A player flagrantly or excessively contacting an opponent while the ball is dead.

PENALTY: (Arts. 13 thru 17) Two free throws shall be awarded to any player on the offended team, unless offsetting. Flagrant technical fouls; apply toward the team-foul total and the offender(s) is ejected. For any single flagrant technical foul, the ball shall be awarded to the offended team at a designated spot at the division line on either side of the playing court. For double or offsetting flagrant fouls, no free throws shall be awarded and play shall resume at the point of interruption. Any player(s) who actively participates in a fight shall be ejected and subject to suspension (See Appendix I).

A nice bit of officiating there, even if I think the rule should have an element of intent or negligence.  Punishing accidental contact seems ridiculous to me.  It also seems clear from Billy Donovan's relatively mild reaction to the event that he knew the rule, and had no basis for a vehment objection.  The rule is the rule.  I think it is not well formed, but it is the rule.

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