Video: Referee instructs Ole Miss to stop landshark gesture


UPDATE: Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork is defending the use of the landshark sign.


Just a week after ESPN’s College GameDay dedicated an entire segment to the landshark sign used by the Ole Miss defense (see below), a referee has instructed the Rebels they are no longer allowed to use the move when on the field.

Considering the sign was not only a large part of the Rebels defensive identity, but also a way to honor the memory and mentality of former Rebel Tony Fein, this new decision shouldn’t be taken lightly.


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You can learn more about the origin of the landshark sign by watching the video below. Do you consider the move “excessive celebration?”


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  • It’s showboating, I don’t mind celebrating on the way to the bench, that however is showboating.

    • And so is pretty much what happens after every single SEC play. The SEC is more lenient than the NFL or any other college conference when it comes to celebrations. Saying a hand sign is unsportsmanlike conduct is absurd.

    • How is it showboating any more than an other player celebrating anything? It’s not like they are directing it at other players. People need to lighten up.

    • LOL– a little bitter there, Dale??

    • The refs were obviously given a directive from either the NCAA or the SEC Office.
      So…if the Landshark is ruled “excessive celebration,” then immediately stop all:
      gator chomps, hook ’em horns, tomahawk chops, chest bumps, fist pumps, high fives, low fives, give me fives, touchdown signs, pointing to the sky, pointing to the fans, saluting to the fans, waving to the fans, twirling a towel, encouraging crowd noise, jumping up-and-down, taking a knee, saying a prayer (Tebow would have been flagged 88 times), sign of the Trinity,…and anything else that is a sign of emotion while on the field or on the sidelines…..
      After all, is the game supposed to be any fun for the players?

      • Could not have said it better myself.

      • …and the ever so popular, “first down” signaled by the players.

      • Well said ! It seems there are those who want the game to be sterile BUT YET, they allow the extracurricular showing in every game and not one player ever gets thrown out. That is a part of the game that needs to be fixed! Watch any game and look at how much contact there is that is unnecessary after any play.
        I think it boils down to some of the more prominent legacy schools controlling decisions in the SEC office. SC was a target of it for years and then it settled down after Holtz sent in videos and has not been a problem recently.

  • It’s about time, really. UMiss somehow found a few nuts this year, but overall they’re just not elite enough to be showboating like this. If I was a UMiss fan or player, I’d be embarrassed to do it because it’s really mocking being a perennial gridiron dumpster fire.

    • Your username officially makes your opinion mean nothing in this world. And if Ole Miss is a dumpster fire, then what does that make Alabama this year? Go get another 70 on an IQ test

    • And if I were your parents, I would be embarrassed of you. Dont be mad. Haters are going to hate. Go back to your trailer.

      • Now how in the world could I hate on UMiss? Why would I? It’s not like other teams are threatened by them every year. I just think it’s cute that your ilk is finally tasting some success and you don’t know how to act. Just like rushing the field after beating Bama lmao. I mean, a lot of your fans even got hurt acting like the morons that they are. Bless your hearts :).

        • I agree with you 100%

          I hate we wasted a field rush on a team that obviously wasn’t worth it.

          We should have waited until we beat a team that is actually good this year. Instead of a 2nd hand team from Alabama.

          Hindsight is 20-20 though.

    • This from the same guy who claimed Robert Nkemdiche is fat. You clearly do not have an anti-Ole Miss agenda.

    • I see nothing wrong with it. If they get in the other players face then flag it. Otherwise it’s just players getting excited about great plays. It’s no different than chest bumps, high fives, or any number of other things these kids come up with. I love to see a team have fun and play with emotion. It shows that they love making plays for their teams. I think they should flag for throat slashes, spiking the ball or taunting another player directly but other than that, let them play! SpraySpike80DFallday please find another team to root for, you are making the rest of us look bad.

  • It’s a tribute as well as a motivation between the defensive players and between the fans. It’s not vulgar, rude or excessive. Just sayin.

  • You’re kidding me, right? So the gator chomp is ok, artificial noisemakers are illegal but cowboys are cool for State, but defensive guys putting their hand on their helmet is excessive? And this needs a warning from officials that the only pass interference call they could make was on the offense on a play that the receiver did not have a defender within ten feet? Come on! And y’all saying its about time are just as ludicrous and pissed off that your programs have been embarrassing this year anyway!

    • Cow bells, victim of autocorrect

    • As a UMiss fan, you really shouldn’t be mentioning embarrassing seasons. You guys have been embarrassing the conference for decades, so one good season (finally) doesn’t make UMiss some gridiron powerhouse.

      • sprayspike, you realize your comments on this board are the only thing truly embarrassing to any SEC fans. You’re a troll plain and simple. Yes we had some tough years mixed with some great years, but I can name times in the history of every single SEC program when they found themselves having to rebuild from the bottom. Sorry we are the only school that had to recover from the Death Penalty for doing the same thing every other program has been doing for the last thirty years. Go troll a Notre Dame site!

      • One good season is all it takes to make us better than the rest this year moron! You are the one who does not know how to act! You win the championship year by year …. not by what your last year’s record was.

  • I wondered why they didnt nip this in the bud to begin with. I personally have no problem with it but if you are going to flag for gestures such as the cut throat and other things…then this should be flagged also.

  • I don’t have a problem with it though I could see it being considered showboating. Though Pernell McPhee got called for it a few years ago, so maybe it should be:

  • Come on—I am, an LSU fan I frankly, I don’t see the Landshark fin sign to be anymore than a bunch of college kids playing a game and having fun. Why play if it is not fun? The refs can determine if it is taunting based on the situation.

    Furthermore it seems to me that too many here are jealous because OM is experiencing success under Coach Freeze.

    I like beating OM, but they are our Rival. I also respect them and quite frankly I enjoy watching their kids succeed. This whole mess is over nothing and the official needs to calm down and worry about enforcing the rules not altering them because there was no taunt.

  • If you’re going to stop the fin then let’s also stop flexing, stomping, high fiving, chest bumps, running, putting your arms out, fist bumping, raising your index finger, hugging, smiling, laughing, etc. Hell, let’s make a rule about it and have players ejected for showing emotion. Come on. Seriously?

    • I’m certainly no Ole Miss fan, but this seems more than a little ridiculous. If it isn’t directed right into the opponents face, I see no lack of sportsmanship from this gesture.

  • Mississippi’s rival MS State allows fans to ring artificial noise makers the whole game. Mississippi honors a former player and expresses pride with a flat hand and THIS is considered excessive! Get real. No jumping, no obscene jesters, no strange dancing…just a flat hand on the helmet.

  • State Fan here. That is so much junk. Virtually every sack in the sport of football is followed by some sort of celebration, as are touchdowns. I don’t know perhaps he took too long and the ref was warning him, but I doubt it. Don’t compare it to cowbells, apples and oranges. Hope that zebra got run over a little in the game. Hail State!

  • Okay so I’ve been looking at comments that have been posted on here, and here’s what I think ab it, sprayspike80dfallday guy is just a dumb ass so us olemiss fans and other fans should just ignore him cause he probably roots for Russia. Now to the point, if the referees hadn’t penalized it before in the past thing there is no point in trying to do it now. It’s the same as Cams superman thing and johnny footballs money sign thing. Nobody likes to see when olemiss is actually winning so it makes sense that they wanna penalize them. So to hell with that ref and everybody else who wants to penalize them, even the spray spike guy or girl whoever it is

  • Especially considering the origin of it, there is no reason to penalize this unless it’s in somebody’s face. It’s just clean fun for a bunch of young guys. If you don’t want to see it, don’t give up the play.

  • Texas’ “Hook ’em, Horns”
    Oregon’s “O”
    Ohio’s “O-HI-O”
    Miami’s “U”
    Arizona State’s “Fork ’em, Devils”
    Florida State’s “Tomahawk Chop”
    Baylor’s “Bear Claw”
    Florida’s “Gator chomp”
    Texas Tech’s guns up finger pistols
    NC State’s “Wolfpack” sign
    Hawaii’s “Hang Loose”
    Texas A&M’s “Gig ’em, Aggies”
    Baylor’s “Bearclaw”

    Lot’s of teams Pointing to the heavens

    But, that Landshark symbol has to go.
    It’s the biggest problem in college football today.

  • What really kills me about this is that this deserved a penalty but multiple pass interference calls, a facemask, and a few other infractions (honestly, on both sides) weren’t worth calling. We are the top conference in the country year in and year out but we have the worst officials. Every week they are throwing game changing calls, so do they really need any more artillery for their incompetency or personal agendas!

  • I’ve seen some of the worst officiating this year than I can ever recall. They should peanilize themselves for blindness, and leave the young players (18-22 yr. olds) alone. It’s a GAME, let the players show some team spirit, It’s not the NFL!

  • So lets start here.. Who don’t show boat?
    I have watched no name teams that play and they showboat as you call it. I’ve also seen big name teams and guess what they are doing? Showboating! So my words to you.. Shut up. Spike you need to shut up to. Running your mouth like you know it all. A dumpster fire huh?
    your as bad as the Obama admin. Your nothing more than a troll and a racist. Just that simple. I’ll call you want you are.
    now I don’t have anyone team that I back. I watch football just to watch it. IDC who wins. I watch the players making big plays. They train hard and when it all comes together and they make a big play.. EVERY TEAM SHOWBOATS AS IT WAS CALLED. GET OVER IT. show me a team that hasn’t. For those running off at the trap saying it should stop.. All of it should stop.. Now how stupid would that be? Very stupid.. Its part of the game. They are excited they made a big play. I would do something like that myself. As I’m running back to the line.. Big deal they make a land shark with their hand.. Who cares.. I see why they do it and good for them.. That’s awesome they are remembering a player. So its a bad thing they do that huh? Yeah ok. This is a bad issue.. Lmbo.. What’s a bad issue is this great Obama admin wanting to bring people infected with Ebola to the us. Its already spreading like wild fire… But lets worry about celebrating a tackle or a touchdown.. This is a really bad issue.

    • I was totally with you until your failed pathetic attempt to tie in Obama & Ebola to a conversation about College Football.. Who are you, a Fox News employee?

  • As a rival fan with obvious bias I honestly don’t have a problem with them throwing this up. My only issue was when an MSU player was flagged for doing the same because it was seen as “taunting”. Stop taking the fun out of the game . . We all should actually be amazed they know what symbol to throw up considering they are represented by a Bear. . A Shark. . And a dead bearded guy that represented a preabolotion South

  • As a dawg fan I don’t see what the big deal is. I think it’s cool that each team has their own signature hand signal or the like. Just adds more personality to the game. I don’t see how it’s taunting unless it’s done in the face of an opposing player. I take it as more of an expression of pride.

    However, the only problem I have with the fins up thing is this: a shark’s fin is not on its face. It’s on its back. But I digress…

  • i do believe SpraySpike80DFAllDay is Phyllis from Alabama!! Get back to calling Paul Finebaum!!

  • I think they should be able to celebrate as long as they are not doing it to the other players face that could result in a fight other than that let the players celebrate however they want just don’t cause a fight sports is supposed to be fun and when you have fun then you will be dancing singing or something I think the officials r trying to make sports not fun cause they are not cause they keep making bad calls so they have to take it out on the players instead when they start making better calls then they will b happier and having fun then they can start celebrating to everyone even the refs should get to celebrate when they do something good

  • I didn’t realize “showboating” was a legitimate violation of the taunting rule. The game is supposed to be fun & as long as the gesture isn’t made over an opposing player or directed toward a particular player, it’s no worse than players jumping & skipping off after a good play. The way they are doing the Fins Up sign is directed toward the fans & the Ole Miss bench, not @ the opposition team, player(s) or fans… & it is a tribute to a former player (Tony Fein). Is wearing #38 in honor of Chucky Mullins “showboating, too? What about wearing mourning numbers/bands on helmets/jerseys? Where is the line to be drawn? Appears to be a bit nebulous when you really examine it, now doesn’t it?
    Next thing you know, it’ll be a penalty for the fans to cheer too loudly after a good play or score (remember the ill-fated “crowd noise” rule in the NFL-that didn’t last too long-Thanks Boomer).
    How do we complain about it to the conference/”officials knee-jerk rules inventors”?
    IT’S A GAME & is supposed to be fun. Let the kids express themselves. As long as it isn’t done in a hurtful way, where’s the harm?

  • Then after the warning the old geezer Ref yells “And stay off my lawn, you hooligans!”

  • Quite juvenile and sophomoric. Hopefully, the officials will get it stopped.