A line was drawn over the 10-second rule proposal, which was put on the shelf yesterday, but there seemed to be a consensus on the opinions regarding another rule proposal. Today there is much rejoicing.
The targeting rule has been amended to wipe off any 15-yard penalty assessed to a team once a video replay rules a player may return to the game following an ejection. The rule was passed by the NCAA’s Football Rules Oversight committee on Thursday, according to Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com. Last season, when the rule was implemented, a player was automatically ejected when penalized for targeting a defenseless player. In addition to the ejection, his team was penalized 15 yards. A video replay was automatic any time the penalty was called and could overturn the ejection. However, even if a replay overturned the ejection, the penalty yardage remained. That will no longer be the case, as the new rule will also take away the penalty yardage if a video replay allows a player to return to the field of play.
This fixes the biggest flaw in the rule that was introduced a year ago, one that should have easily been avoided from the start with a little foresight. the new rule will go in to effect this season. The penalty left many frustrated last fall, form players to coaches and fans, but at least now common sense will prevail on this issue.
What is still left to iron out with the rule is finding some uniformity on calling the penalty from league to league. As witnessed last season by those watching more than one team, there is a lack of consistency in how the rule is interpreted both on the field and in the replay booth. The problems stretch on a conference by conference basis but also vary within the same conference’s officiating crews at times. Here’s hoping that time will be spent with all officials in establishing a clearer definition of how the rule should be enforced.