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 24th, 2013
8:08 am

@ thadnorris – your post hits the nail on the head. The fact of the matter is that the right team or game hasn’t been negatively affected yet by the stupidity of this rule. As soon as that happens, the rule will be changed. Another thing that really ticks me off about this rule is that you only throw a flag for targeting if the neck or head area is “targeted” (Don’t tell that to Ray Drew, however), but think about the play that took Keith Marshall out for the season. The defender could have hit him anywhere, but decided to go low and took out his knee. I don’t think that Tennessee player is a dirty player, but that play is as dangerous to the health and welfare of a football player as the plays that Drew and Wilson were flagged for.

(BTW, can we please fix the format of this blog discussion? This is the only blog on ajc,com that is reversed!)


October 24th, 2013
8:05 am

No way my uncontrolled dawgs lose anymore this year. UGA and wrestling, the greatest tickle pile on the earth. UGA has always played dirty, I just hate the refs are calling it. I thought we paid the refs better than that? I guess we ran out of ref money and now giving it to our players. But….ssshhh!! You didn’t hear me say that. But, where else can you go to school, get courses in PE and basket weaving, get money and play football?? UGA Baby!!! Biggest redneck panty sniffing school around!!


October 24th, 2013
7:50 am

“although the 15-yard penalty still stood, much to the dismay of Georgia fans.”

That’s what’s been happening all season long, but Georgia fans are always “dismayed” to learn that the rules also apply to them. They actually go so far as to engage in campaigns to slander specific SEC officials by name on blogs and radio call-in shows when they disagree with a call that went against the Bulldogs.


October 24th, 2013
7:33 am

Stupidly directed rule.


October 24th, 2013
7:20 am

They have to change it. There is no justice in overturning a bad call, but still the team suffers a loss of 15 yards. That played a significant role in the outcome of the game. As my grandaddy used to say, “That don’t make a lick of sense.”

Nan P. in Dacula

October 24th, 2013
7:18 am

Whining dawgs


October 24th, 2013
12:53 am

“He said that of the 14 targeting penalties called in SEC games this year, six have been overturned.”

Pretty much sums it all up. Unnecessary rule, poorly conceived, poorly officiated on the field.

They need to question the integrity of the officiating in the UGA-Vanderbilt game. The first call on Drew was questionable related to targeting, and the second call screamed of the official being unduly influenced or pre-disposed to make a call.

None of this excuses the way UGA played, but the call on Wilson changed the outcome of the game.


October 24th, 2013
12:32 am

a little hindsight now but the review and overturn of the ejection but cannot overturn the penility evan if the flag was wrong sounds as if it was not thought out. Refs should not determine the outcome of the game just regulate it. Sorta like the IRS charges you a penalty and after review confirms its a mistake but doesen’t reverse the penalty.


October 23rd, 2013
10:29 pm

How can you review a play and then determine that it was NOT targeting and then still penalize a team 15 yards. My question is what is the penalty for?? You just determined that what the flag was thrown for was inacurrate. This is like watching a review and seeing that a player was in the endzone but saying well we know he scored but we dont think he should have the touchdown. I can see throwing a flag if there is a question. But if the video shows there was no foul then HOW can you penalize them? This rule is the dumbest thing I have ever seen in college football. There is no way this can continue to affect games and go on. so what happens in a national championship game when someone calls targeting on the last drive of the game and then it is determined to not be. might be a big deal then…