Hannah Hidalgo nose ring: Why NCAA officials asked Notre Dame star to remove jewelry mid-game vs. Oregon State

Notre Dame is playing its most important game of the season with the entire campaign on the line. And for a crucial four minutes, the Fighting Irish were missing their best player over a unique delay.

NCAA officials reportedly asked Hannah Hidalgo to remove a diamond nose stud in the second quarter during Friday’s Sweet 16 game against No. 3 Oregon State. The delay wound up costing Hidalgo four minutes of game time as she was substituted out of the game at the start of the second quarter and did not return until the 5:51 mark.

While Hidalgo was out, Oregon State had an 8-7 scoring advantage and led 25-22 by the time Hidalgo returned to the contest.

Hidalgo has worn the nose ring all season without having been asked to take it out, which was why it was surprising to many the All-American guard was asked to have it removed during the game on Friday.

Why did she have to have it removed? Here’s what you need to know.

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Why Hannah Hidalgo removed nose ring

Hidalgo might have had the nose ring all season, but that doesn’t mean it’s been legal to wear it all year. 

NCAA rules prohibit any type of jewelry to be worn during the game, among a list of articles that are prohibited under Rule 1, Section 25, Article 7:

Head decorations, head wear, helmets, and jewelry are illegal. Religious head wear is permitted provided it is securely fashioned to the head and is subject to the approval of the referee per Rule 2-5.1.

Further complicating the situation is NCAA Rule 2, Section 5, Article 1, which mandates that officials “inspect and approve all players’ uniforms.” The assumption would then be the nose ring would have been spotted before the game or that at some other point during the season, she would have been asked to remove it.

Hannah Hidalgo stats

The true freshman has enjoyed a sensational campaign for the Fighting Irish, earning an All-American First-Team nod, winning ACC Tournament MVP, ACC Rookie of the Year, ACC Defensive Player of the Year and being named a Naismith Defensive Player of the Year semifinalist.

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Here’s a look at her numbers from her freshman season coming into the game:

  • 22.9 points per game.
  • 6.2 rebounds per game
  • 5.6 assists per game
  • 4.6 steals per game
  • 45.1 field-goal percentage
  • 34.7 3-point percentage
  • 77.4 free-throw percentage

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