Will NCAA take away 15-yard penalty on overturned targeting call?
Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday October 09, 2013
There is one common complaint about the targeting rule, and it could change next season.
The targeting rule debuted in college football this year with questions, but there haven’t been too many controversies regarding the calls and ejections.
The issue has come when ejections have been overturned by replay. There have been 37 targeting penalties in FBS this season, and 10 have been overturned by replay, according to NCAA coordinator of football officials Rogers Redding. But if the player is allowed to stay in the game, the 15-yard penalty still stands. Why?
“Personally, on the rule itself, if you can rule review a play to say if a guy should be ejected or should not be ejected, then you should rule if it was a penalty or if it is not a penalty,” Nick Saban said after an Alabama targeting penalty was overturned at Texas A&M. “That’s not what the rule is. You asked me opinion. I’m giving you my opinion.”
Last week, the NCAA began to require automatic review of all targeting penalties. But again, the 15-yard penalty stands.
Redding joined SiriusXM College Sports Nation and explained the replay was put in as a safety net. He also explained why they decided the 15-yard penalty would stand.
“Many times, what you see is, even though a player doesn’t actually make contact to the head and neck area, he still exhibited those elements of targeting,” Redding said. “He still launched or threw his body in a manner that indicted more than a good, hard football play.
“In order to get the behavior change, we felt like the 15-yard penalty should stay there. That’s the thinking of it. This is never going to be perfect. That’s probably one of the areas where the committee is going to want to discuss that.”
He admitted he understands complaints about the 15 yards standing up. Not every overturned targeting penalty is the same.
“I would guess I’ve seen all of those, I’m sure,” he said. “Probably, in a few of those cases, I would feel like, yeah, it is a case that maybe the 15-yard penalty wasn’t merited. But in the other cases, it was. That’s something the committee is going to want to talk about when we meet in February, for sure.”