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.