Notre Dame’s Hidalgo Forced to Remove Nose Stud by Refs During March Madness Upset

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Hannah Hidalgo, a rising star freshman for Notre Dame, was unexpectedly injured at the start of the second quarter of a Sweet 16 game that attracted attention for all the wrong reasons. The cause? Her stud in her nose.

Many were taken aback when officials interjected during the fierce match between the No. 2 seed Fighting Irish and the No. 3 seed Oregon State, asking that Hidalgo take off her nose stud. 

Hidalgo had to take a four-minute break as a result, as Notre Dame personnel hurriedly handled the unforeseen request and took the star out in accordance with NCAA rules.

Although the NCAA forbids jewelry due to safety concerns, there is still some confusion over nose studs. 

Hannah Hidalgo’s Sweet 16 Setback

notre-dames-hidalgo-forced-to-remove-nose-stud-by-refs-during-march-madness-upset
Hannah Hidalgo, a rising star freshman for Notre Dame, was unexpectedly injured at the start of the second quarter of a Sweet 16 game that attracted attention for all the wrong reasons. The cause? Her stud in her nose.

Other athletes have also chosen to get this piercing, thus Hidalgo’s situation is not unique. Niele Ivey, the head coach of Notre Dame, highlighted that Hidalgo had been playing like a stud all season long with no problems.

Hidalgo’s performance appeared to be greatly impacted by the interruption. Her performance decreased significantly after she returned to the court without her nose stud. 

Hidalgo was unable to establish her rhythm and ended up shooting just 2 of 13 for the rest of the game. She also made only little contributions to other statistical categories, scoring an ineffective total of 10 points.

For Notre Dame, a squad that had an outstanding 28-7 record for the season, this setback was expensive. 

Hidalgo’s performances, which included first-team AP All-American, ACC Rookie of the Year, and ACC Defensive Player of the Year, had been crucial to their success. She averaged 22.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game.

Any player discovered wearing jewelry is required by NCAA rules to take it off right away at the first dead ball and is not allowed to play again until compliance is achieved. 

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Player Safety vs. Personal Style in College Athletics

However, if the referee determines that it is safe, a small plastic stem can be used to keep an open piercing.

Surprisingly, there were differences in how nose studs were handled in later games, as Chloe Kitts of South Carolina demonstrated. 

She disclosed that, suggesting a change in enforcement from one game to the next, officials told the Gamecocks to take off their nose rings prior to tip-off.

Hidalgo’s surprising benching serves as a reminder of the delicate balance that collegiate athletics must maintain between player expression and regulatory observance. 

This balance can tilt abruptly, affecting not only individual performances but also entire teams competing for national championships. 

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