Greg McElroy shares thoughts on targeting rules, why more people need to learn them
Since more strict targeting rules were implemented in college football in 2013, there have been plenty of players who have received fouls and subsequently been ejected from games. The sport is hoping to keep players safe in the process.
But there’s also been debate over what hits should be ruled targeting and which should not. It’s not always a clear-cut decision, and officials have to make a call that could potentially remove a player from the game.
On Monday night, there were 4 targeting fouls during the first half of the Ole Miss-Louisville game. That sparked conversion about the specifics of the targeting rules, which former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy discussed during an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Tuesday.
“We need to do a better job as a sport making sure people understand it,” McElroy said. “Like there are broadcasters and people and coaches that don’t understand the rule. And I think that’s occasionally frustrating because people have a difficult time understanding why it’s called targeting. Just because it’s helmet-to-helmet, Dan, doesn’t mean it’s targeting. It doesn’t mean it’s an automatic ejection. And it doesn’t mean the refs are against your team.”
"We need to do a better job as a sport making sure people understand it… Just because it's helmet to helmet doesn't mean it's targeting"
–@GregMcElroy on the targeting rule
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) September 7, 2021
As McElroy broke down, 1 of 2 things must happen for a player to be ejected for targeting: there must either be contact initiated with the crown of the helmet or a launch/upward thrust.
Although McElroy doesn’t think enough people are learning about the rules, he also thinks part of the reason for that is because they don’t want to see the sport change.
“I don’t think people want to be educated,” McElroy said. “I think in some ways people don’t really want to learn the rule. They just don’t like that it’s not the barbaric, Ronnie Lott, ‘I’m going to take your head off,’ across the middle type of game that it once was. It’s not that way. We’re trying to keep players safe.”
McElroy believes there won’t be as many targeting fouls as the season progresses, because players will be more dialed into “tackling fundamentals” as they get back in the swing of playing games.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be controversial calls, though. And like Monday night, people are likely to have different opinions on whether or not the rules should have been enforced on a particular hit.