SEC’s Shaw: Targeting rule working as planned

For those of you with your hopes up, the targeting rule in college football will not change during the season.

Steve Shaw, the SEC’s coordinator of officials, reaffirmed that on the conference’s weekly teleconference on Wednesday.

“I want to be crystal clear. That’s not something that will change in-season,” he said.

Shaw joined the teleconference in the wake of the four targeting penalties that were called in SEC games on Saturday.

He explained that of those four, two were “textbook targeting,” one was iffy (my word, not his) and one was “properly” overturned — although the 15-yard penalty still stood, much to the dismay of Georgia fans.

LB Ramik Wilson was penalized for targeting on a fourth-down incompletion. It was overturned, so he wasn’t ejected, but Vanderbilt used the first down to continue its drive.

“Even (SEC Commissioner Mike Slive) has serious reservations about the penalty philosophy around targeting fouls when they’re overturned,” Shaw said. “He and I have talked. He’s challenged me, and together we’re going to work with the rules committee to revisit the penalty if a disqualification is overturned for targeting.”

He said that of the 14 targeting penalties called in SEC games this year, six have been overturned. Nationally, have been 52 targeting penalties in FBS games, 15 of which have been overturned.

“The rule is working as the rule’s makers wanted it to,” Shaw said. “… The rule was intended to modify player behavior, change how coaches interact with their players and modify player behavior on the field.”

He added the NCAA rules committee will meet this offseason to discuss whether to take away the 15-yard penalty on overturned ejections, which is a lot of people’s biggest complaint about the rule.

Past blogs

Dabo in denial? Perhaps there is more to his comments

Miami’s next punishment could come from FSU

View replay before ejecting players for targeting

SEC shook up on Shake Down Saturday

Updated: Oregon students selling “We Want Bama” shirts

78 comments Add your comment


October 23rd, 2013
5:12 pm

Yes, the targeting calls were wrong. However, in my opinion,they did not change the outcome of the game. Instead of whining about the refs, Richt should concentrate on getting his team ready for games. This complaining about the calls is just a smokescreen to cover up his and coaches’ incompetency.

Getting Older

October 23rd, 2013
5:09 pm

I definitely think that they should take away the 15 yd penalty if they decide is was not an ejectable foul. However, I don’t want the officials to not throw the flag, review first, and then come back with a flag. Just throw the flag, review, and remove if determined to be a legal hit.


October 23rd, 2013
5:07 pm

Steve Shaw is S-T-U-P-I-D, if he believes the targeting rule is “working as planned”. That has to be the craziest statement and belief ever. Reverse a call, but still apply a penalty to the reversed call. An elementary school student would use more common sense judgement for this issue.


October 23rd, 2013
5:07 pm

good lord I have not seen so many tears from the pathetic dawg nation in a long time.


October 23rd, 2013
4:45 pm

This is football. If the powers that be are going to keep doing this then they should put flags on the players. What a JOKE! We used to play tackle football with no pads when I was a kid and never had a serious injury. Sure, blows to the neck and head should be illegal but Wilson’s hit was perfect.

Mountain Dawg

October 23rd, 2013
4:23 pm

I think we should go back to the leather helmet. If a payer does not have all that face protection and impact foam surrounding his skull, he may think twice before leading a tackle with his head.


October 23rd, 2013
4:23 pm


Doesn’t need a deep thinker to see that Vandy played better when it counted. Nothing erroneous about the outcome of the game.


October 23rd, 2013
4:19 pm

Agree with JoeFann…. If anything roughing or a personal foul. Per the rule…

• No player shall target and initiate contact vs. opponent with the crown of his helmet.

• No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent.

Neither one of these happened on the Drew incident.


October 23rd, 2013
4:18 pm

Neither hit by Drew or Wilson was to the head….

They were football plays..

Drew’s maybe a lil late & might warrant a penalty…

But Wilson’s hit is textbook..

If they keep this up (the rules committee) football will go by the wayside like baseball in the next 20 years…

X-Games are taking the youngsters by storm & in 20 years could be the NFL of the future…

Just Sayin…….


October 23rd, 2013
4:12 pm

The officials were instructed to err on the side of safety and, by and large, they have. However, the lack of ability to overturn the penalty has unintended consequences. The replay official needs the authority both to overturn the penalty, and the ability to change the penalty to a “lesser offense.” The Ramik Wilson hit was a textbook legal hit and should have had no flag. The Ray Drew hit was probably a “roughing” penalty but was in no way a “targeting” penalty. Clearly, the enforcement is having the intended effect. I remember early in the season that defensive backs were pulling up prior to the hit to control their contact. Unfortunately, many receivers absorbed the lighter hits and pulled away for first downs and more. The real proof, which we haven’t seen, is how many fewer concussions have been recorded this year vs. last or prior. I’m all in favor of player safety, however if you remove the legal Ramik Wilson hit from football, it won’t be football any more.