The NCAA instituted the targeting rule to football a few years ago, and while its intentions are good, the results have been controversial with players being ejected for what appear to be clean hits. The ability to review these calls in-depth recently has help, but it looks like the NCAA is looking into a change that would make everyone a bit happier.
According to CBS Sports, the NCAA rules committee is reviewing a change that would force targeting calls to be “confirmed” in the replay booth in order to force an ejection. As of now, the interpretation of the rule leans in almost the opposite direction, meaning that the refs have to confirm on review that it’s not targeting in order to stay in the game.
If approved, this should mean that more borderline calls go in favor of keeping the offending player in the game instead of ejecting them. Hopefully it would me less of this resulting in an ejection:
“We still want to the official to throw the flag there,” NCAA associate director Ty Halpin told to CBS. “But if replay says there’s a little bit of contact on the shoulder and it’s more because the player adjusted and it wasn’t a dangerous attempt by the player delivering the contact, then maybe that player deserves to stay in the game. It’s a reasonable thing to go with.”
This proposed change comes after there were 144 targeting foul ejections in the 2016, which is double the number called in the 2014 season. 53 targeting penalties were reversed last year, and with the new rule, than number might go up as the ejection number goes down.
When enforced correctly, the targeting rule is a fine way to help player safety. Hopefully the NCAA is able to fine-tune it to the point where we aren’t seeing players get undeservedly ejected from games.
[H/T Land of 10]