SEC to ask NCAA to review targeting rule


The targeting penalty.

Sheer anger just came to your mind.

College football has faced controversy this year with the new targeting/ejection penalty. It’s become an increasingly important and necessary discussion concerning the rules of the game, with a future perspective.

Related: SEC Power Rankings

Yes, there have been some bad calls this season, but none have directly affected the game like the Georgia-Vanderbilt game Saturday. Two Georgia players were called for bogus targeting calls, leading to Ray Drew’s ejection and another 15-yard penalty on Ramik Wilson. While Drew’s bogus call will raise your blood pressure, Wilson’s phantom targeting hit was a game changer.

Video may not work on some mobile applications. You can also watch the video on YouTube here.

Georgia had a 27-21 lead when Wilson was called for the targeting hit, and it completely changed the complexion of the way the game was played. Obviously, the ejection portion of the play was overturned, but the penalty was still enforced, the worst aspect of the entire rule.

Related: Here’s another bad targeting call back in week 5

Mark Richt and AD Greg McGarity have had extensive conversations with the SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw this week. SEC refs are held to high standards and are subject to disciplinary measures when they blow calls, ranging from a reprimand, suspension or dismissal.

Could we see some type of discipline for Wilson’s hit?

SEC will ask NCAA to review targeting penalty

Steve Shaw spoke to the media today on the SEC teleconference. You can listen to the entire conversation here.

To date, college football has seen 52 targeting penalties called in 2013, and 15 ejection penalties have been reversed.

Shaw echoes that SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and the SEC will ask the NCAA rules committee to look at reversing the 15-yard enforced penalty should the player not be ejected for targeting upon review.

“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.”

Although everyone is seemingly against the rule, Shaw reiterates the rule is working the according to plan.

“The rule is working is working as the rules makers wanted it to,” Shaw said. “As we all know, the game’s under attack. We’re getting more and more information about concussions and the impact short-term, long-term and there’s a lot we still don’t know. The rule was intended to modify player behavior, change how coaches interact with their players and modify the player behavior on the field.”

As we enter the backstretch of the SEC season, we can only hope that a bogus targeting call doesn’t affect a team’s run at a championship.

Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports



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  • The introduction of the targeting-even-when-it’s-proven-it-wasn’t rule is easily the worst decision made in any off season in recent memory. I think the bogus calls have directly impacted the outcome of more than one game. From the video the Umpire appears to be no more than 5 yds from the hit when he signals the incomplete pass and DOES NOT throw a flag. Did he throw it late or was it another ref? If so, why is a ref much further away calling a penalty when the Umpire was practically on top of the hit? Sucks for Georgia – this was 4th down, right?

    • It was another ref that actually threw that flag.

    • Yes, it was 4th down. Ramik wilson made a textbook, clean play. So this was truly was a 7 point swing in a game decided by 4 points. Vanderbilt won because of this horrendous call. Thats undeniable, unless basic algebra isnt your thing. And i would also add that on UGA’s next possession, up 6 points instead of 13, they went conservative on offense and the long snapper caved under the pressure of being deep in UGA territory up only 6. That probably wouldn’t have happened if UGA were up 13, as they should have been. It will be interesting to see if UGA wins out, Missouri loses 2, and this call effectively ends up determining who makes it to Atlanta. That would be nothing short of sickening.

      • Hate it for Wilson because you can’t ask a LB to make a better play than he did. From covering his man, to reading the quarterbacks eyes, to reacting and forcing an incomplete pass. Excellent play, yet he was punished for it. You can’t ask him to play it any better. And yes, that one call was what changed that game. That’s been my problem with this rull all along

  • What I have never understood is why the ejection can be overturned, but not the 15 yard penalty. that’s total bullshit. If you overturn one the other should be overturned too.

    • I think it’s bacause they don’t want ANY call from a Ref subject to overturn. If targeting could be overturned, the next logical argument is why not overturn a pass interference or holding call that the replay proves didn’t happen. I’m not arguing on behalf of this assanine rule, just what I assume is the NCAA’s reasoning for keeping the penalty while overturning the ejection.

    • Truly the height of stupidity is what it is. I understand the slippery slope argument, but leaving the penalty intact is like reversing a fumble call, but still giving the ball to the other team because we don’t want to call the ref’s judgment into question. Hell, I’d almost rather have Ramik Wilson thrown out of the game and suspended for the first half against UF, but the penalty called back. At the very least, maybe the coach should be able to choose which part of the penalty stands if the targeting call is reversed.

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