Beamer suspends Nicolas for half after contact with referee

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer says defensive end Dadi Nicolas will be suspended for half of the Hokies' game at Virginia on Saturday for hitting referee Ron Cherry during a loss to North Carolina.

Nicolas was upset after being called for being offside on a second-down incompletion by the Tar Heels. In anger, he flailed his arms and struck Cherry's outstretched arm, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct flag.

Beamer met with Nicolas on Monday and is convinced the contact was unintentional, but said he clearly hit Cherry's arm ''and that can't happen.''

The Hokies (5-6, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) need to beat Virginia (4-7, 3-4) to become bowl eligible for the 23rd consecutive season.

The game will be the last regular-season game of Beamer's 29 years as the Hokies coach.

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