The NCAA is literally proposing to double down on the current targeting rule.
The NCAA Football Rules Committee met this week in Indianapolis and recommended two adjustments to its targeting rules to strengthen one of the most important calls of the game.
The committee, chaired by Stanford coach David Shaw, proposed a progressive penalty for those student-athletes who receive a second targeting foul in the same season. In addition to being disqualified from that game, the player would be suspended for the team’s next contest.
The second adjustment to the targeting rule deals with the instant replay review. Instant replay officials will be directed to examine all aspects of the play and confirm the foul when all elements of targeting are present. If any element of targeting cannot be confirmed, then the replay official will overturn the targeting foul. There will not be an option for letting the call on the field stand during a targeting review.
“The targeting rule has been effective in changing player behavior,” said Steve Shaw, NCAA secretary-rules editor. “The progressive penalty is to ensure that a player re-evaluates his technique, with coaching staff support, after he receives a targeting foul. Additionally, the instant replay review changes will ensure that when a player is disqualified, it is clearly warranted.” [Emphasis added.]
I’ve got no problem with that if you’ve got a kid out there head hunting, but upping the ante when the hit’s inadvertent seems a tad harsh. I’m not sure if the purpose of the instant replay review is to discern intent in order to ameliorate that, but if so, good luck with reading kids’ minds on the field all the way from the replay booth.