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
1:12 pm

“Targeting rule working as planned.”

Yep! Got Tennessee and Vanderbilt their first conference wins.


October 24th, 2013
1:09 pm

Dawgs all the way… Book it!! It’s not too late, we can still win the NC!!! Our players act like thugs on the field. People act like UGA going after players and trying to put them out is something new. It’s been the way we’ve always played. That’s why we are da best!! SEC!! SEC!!! SEC!!!! You know you can’t spell SEC without UGA!! We own everyone.. Vandy Smandy… Secretly, I love GT… If you can’t tell.. I got a pic of Paul Johnson as my avatar. But, I’m in denial.. and act as a UGA fan. But, don’t tell anyone.


October 24th, 2013
12:43 pm

After watching the game again yesterday, I think both referees were itching to make those targeting calls. The replay on Drew clearly shows the ref with flag in hand prior to the foul. Drew knocked the QB on his butt. CalI it roughing the passer, but it was definitely not worthy of being called targeting. He led with nothing more than his hands.

I found the replay on Wilson more disturbing because the ref who was right there called an incomplete pass, but the ref who called the penalty was not visible in ANY of the camera angles – even the overhead shot. He was at least 25 yards away from the play when he made the call. The SEC should suspend the first ref and fire the second – Wilson’s penalty had a direct impact on Vandy’s score total. I’m not saying the ref is the sole reason UGA lost (plenty of bad O, bad D, and horrendous ST to go around), but that late 4th QTR call allowed Vandy to put quick points on the board and that ultimately shifted the momentum of the game in their favor.

The targeting rule as it is written will ruin college football. We are already a shift towards teams with up-tempo, high production offenses mode similar to some PAC-12 teams just wearing out defenses. This scheme is beginning to show up in every conference. Couple high-speed offenses with the targeting rule, which by its very nature, handicaps defenses, and college football Saturdays will end up as nothing more than an endless series of shootout games. So much for the saying that “Defense wins Championships.” The specifics of the rule are absurd. I understand not leading with the helmet, fist, or elbow, but your hand? How long before a stiff-arm becomes targeting? The rule is so over-the-top, that it defies logic – launching? These boys have practiced launching into tackling dummies since they were in middle school. But the rule essentially says that if a player launches at another player in a certain way at a certain time, that becomes a targeting penalty. Targeting will end up making defenses look like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.

As for UGA’s remaining schedule, I still have hopes. A lot has to happen for UGA to win out, and to Mizzou for UGA to wind up in Atlanta, but Missouri still has SCAR, Ole Miss, UT, and A&M in their SEC schedule – there’s a realistic chance (fingers crossed) that they drop 3 of those 4.

With the way things are shaping up this season, the best thing for the SEC is that Bama goes undefeated to the National Championship game. If an SEC team does make it to the title game, I hope to God the game is a low-scoring affair. I think Bama can beat FSU, but I’m not as sure about Oregon – damn they’re fast.

B Hope

October 24th, 2013
11:57 am

It is not the rule that is the problem it the fools who are, not in position, are not consistant and don’t know the rule. The official in the UGA game was a F. Judge 20 yards away. The Umpire was five yards away looking and made no call Get full time officials and fire them if they screw up. The SEC admits they need better officials

4th & 10

October 24th, 2013
11:16 am

Interesting how 43% (6 of 14) of the calls were overturned in the SEC while only 24% of the calls in the rest of FBS have been overturned (the remaining 9 of 38). Sounds like SEC officials may be a little trigger happy here…


October 24th, 2013
10:08 am

Understand the rule, but think about it… How could those who wrote the rule overlook this point?


October 24th, 2013
10:05 am

Overturn = We were wrong, but your penalized anyway.


October 24th, 2013
10:00 am

Poor planning is all I can say.