Posted October 23, 2013

SEC to ask NCAA to reconsider targeting penalties

NCAAF
Georgia linebacker Ramik Wilson was penalized for targeting against Vanderbilt. (Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Georgia’s Ramik Wilson was penalized for targeting against Vanderbilt. (Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Southeastern Conference coordinator of officials Steve Shaw said Wednesday that the conference plans to ask the NCAA after this season to review targeting penalties assessed after a foul has been overturned by replay.

The SEC wants the NCAA Rules Committee to consider picking up flags for targeting after replay reviews overturn the calls. Current rules allow a player automatically disqualified for targeting to return to the game, but the 15-yard penalty stands.

The NCAA introduced the disqualification during the offseason as part of its emphasis on eliminating potentially dangerous hits above the shoulders of a defenseless player. The targeting rule was first introduced in 2008, but the automatic ejection was added for the 2013 season.

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An example of the rule occurred Saturday when Georgia inside linebacker Ramik Wilson was penalized for targeting on a fourth-down incompletion to Jonathan Krause in the fourth quarter of Georgia’s 31-27 loss at Vanderbilt. Wilson’s automatic ejection was overturned, but the 15-yard penalty was still assessed, extending a Vanderbilt drive that resulted in a touchdown.

Three other SEC players were ejected for targeting in Week 8: Wilson’s Georgia teammate Ray Drew, South Carolina safety Kadetrix Marcus and Florida safety Cody Riggs.

From the Athens Banner-Herald:

“Even our commissioner has serious reservations about the penalty philosophy around targeting fouls when they’re overturned,” Shaw said on the SEC teleconference referring to Mike Slive. “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.”

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13 comments
Cool
Cool

I would rather see the unnecessary roughness called with the knowledge that the play would be reviewed by officials following the game, and if it is deemed a true targeting call, then suspend that player for the next game.

Blinker
Blinker

I have seen the "targeting" flag thrown quite a few times but after review only a couple have stood with ejection.  I understand protecting players but the refs end up looking stupid after the review comes back again and again and the call for ejection does not stand.  Big hits are still a big part of the game.  Need to find another way to protect the players...  IMHO.

tlc19
tlc19

How about letting the call stand as unnecessary roughness but use the replay to determine if an ejection is necessary?  Sort of reverse the use of the replay to determine guilt instead of innocence.

TCUfan
TCUfan

The majority of the time that I've seen the player's rejection overturned, there would still have been a personal foul penalty for roughing the passer or unnecessary roughness.

They are two separate things. Reversing the ejection in no way should reverse the penalty itself.

ThatDonGuy
ThatDonGuy

If it wasn't for the one-game suspension, the targeting calls would not be reviewable.  Why should these judgment calls be any different from every other (non-reviewable) judgment call - including a field goal attempt that passes over the top of an upright?  (Whether or not a field goal went over the crossbar is reviewable - but whether or not a kick going over an upright is considered good or wide is a "judgment call" and thus not reviewable.)

RichLGerhold
RichLGerhold

I wish the Big10 would do this as well, considering that ejection by Roby against Iowa was compete horse crap.

Ol' Time Gator
Ol' Time Gator

The replay shows it was not targeting and yet the team is penalized 15 yards for targeting.......makes absolute sense...to the NCAA of course!  

mbroncofan
mbroncofan

@tlc19 Because you have the subjective opinion of what is 'unnecessary'.  That would be exactly what they have now.  The point isn't whether or not it's unnecessary...big hits are still part of the game.  The point is whether or not you were trying to hit a player above the shoulders.  The key words here are "were trying".  As long as the defensive player is trying to hit him below the neck, then no penalty should be applied.  When a defensive player targets the waist or thighs, and the offensive player lowers his head, then the blow to the head should not be considered targeting, excessive, or unnecessary.  In fact, the offensive player is as much to blame as anyone in that case.  Anyone talking about penalizing them??

MattPoulsen
MattPoulsen

@TCUfan It should be discretionary then. In most that I've seen there was not a roughing the passer or unnecessary roughness situation.  In most cases I've seen it was simply a DB hitting a receiver and the only question was the targeting point. Let the booth decide whether a penalty stands or not, but give the option of removing  the penalty. I would also suggest removing the indisputable evidence burden. Just let the booth call it how they see it. 

Wired
Wired

@TCUfan Watch the ramik wilson penalty and think that over.

MattPoulsen
MattPoulsen

@ThatDonGuy because it is being reviewed now. You're literally ignoring in hand information, which is much different than not looking to begin with. 

Wired
Wired

@ThatDonGuy Because this is a "priority" call - according to every t.v. announcer I've heard talk about this - its if there is any question - throw the flag.  Not like most penalties where its - I'm sure i saw this - lets throw a flag.

Craig
Craig

@Wired @TCUfan From the views that I can find it's pretty easy to see why the call was originally made.  There aren't enough good views...or slo mo...to really see clearly a helmet to helmet hit so I'll go with the judgement of the ref that after review he didn't target.  It was pretty clearly close to unnecessary roughness although maybe not over that line.  Now...two things about this.  As TCU said, the flag would likely be thrown for the play regardless of the targeting in the cases I have seen, and some were just outright flagrant.  The second thing is that I have nothing to do with either of the schools involved here, and don't much care about the SEC in general so I don't have a stake in making this call good or bad.  Objectively I think the rule needs to be used and let's see at the end of the year what has happened.  Only with a body of work can we tell how it's affecting play.