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NCAA rules committee makes obvious proposal to targeting rule

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix AP

Sometimes good intentions come at a price that just cannot be realized until something is put in to effect. When Coca-Cola decided to change their formula to compete with a customer base swaying more and more to the sweeter taste of Pepsi, they came up with New Coke. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but when it finally hit the market it quickly became one of the biggest flops in the history. The NCAA’s targeting rules in 2013 may have followed a similar path, and they are ready to review the potential fixes needed in 2014.

Today the NCAA’s Football Rules Committee proposed to amend the targeting rules with regard to the 15-yard penalty following an instant replay. As it was enforced last fall, any player flagged for targeting a defenseless player was subject to an automatic ejection and his team was penalized 15-yards. However, if an instant replay determined an ejection was not warranted that player could return t the game immediately. The 15-yard penalty remained assessed though. That could change.

According to a release issued by the NCAA, the Football Rules Committee is proposing wiping off the 15-yard penalty any time an instant replay allows a player to re-enter the game.

“Overall, the targeting rule was successful and has had the intended impact of making play safer,” said Troy Calhoun, head coach at the Air Force Academy and chair of the committee. “This alteration keeps the intent of the rule, but allows replay to correct all of the consequences from a rare missed call.”

In other words, common sense will prevail. While there are still issues with the way targeting is interpreted from conference to conference and from officiating crew to officiating crew, one of the biggest problems with the rule from the start was still assessing a penalty for something an instant replay review determined should not have been flagged in the first place.

This is an amendment that should be passed without hesitation.

In addition to the targeting rules amendment, the committee also recommended allowing defensive substitutions in the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock. The intent is to improve player safety, of course. The proposal was made to ensure defensive players have a chance to get off the field against teams with up-tempo offenses that rarely use the entire play clock. Of course, wearing down the defenses was always one of the perks of a quick offense so if the proposal is passed it will be interesting to see if the quick offensive styles are slowed down at all. If so, this proposal could turn out to be a real game changer.

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5 Responses to “NCAA rules committee makes obvious proposal to targeting rule”
  1. jbones77 says: Feb 12, 2014 5:54 PM

    “Rare missed calls”. LOL

  2. morrellfsu says: Feb 12, 2014 7:26 PM

    What if a team is trailing late in a game and is trying to run a hurry up offense to score or get into FG range?

    I assume they’ll have to make it ok in the final 2:00-3:00

    This is something that really shouldn’t be touched.

  3. Deb says: Feb 12, 2014 8:50 PM

    “Overall, the targeting rule was successful and has had the intended impact of making play safer,” said Troy Calhoun.

    Thrilled with the proposed amendment to the targeting rule, but can’t help wondering whether Calhoun and his committee provided any measurable data to back up his statement that the targeting rule has made play safer.

  4. kirbotus says: Feb 12, 2014 11:09 PM

    Removing the 15 yard penalty is needed. What is also needed is an awareness by the NCAA that the targeting rule may create more knee injuries….

  5. normtide says: Feb 12, 2014 11:59 PM

    I like what the rule is trying to do, but letting the 15 yard penalty stand after a review overturns the ejection seems foolish. Hope they get it straight.

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