Targeting rule reportedly under review for adjustment following major backlash
The targeting rule in college football has come under fire this season because fans and media widely believe that it is too harsh in many instances.
For example, in the Auburn-Penn State game, Auburn defender Zakoby McClain was ejected for targeting after his helmet hit a Penn State player’s helmet near the goal line to prevent a touchdown. Now the question becomes, would a more lenient penalty still deter the kind of tackling the sport wants to eliminate?
Sports Illustrated has reported that change may be coming:
Among high-ranking college football leaders, there is movement afoot to at least consider an adjustment to the targeting foul’s most harsh individual punishment—the ejection. In fact, the NCAA’s own coordinator of officials, Steve Shaw, and a handful of conference commissioners as well as athletic administrators and coaches, expect the rule to be examined this offseason. By the time the 2022 season kicks off, the hope is that the policy looks different.
A formal plan, though, is not in place at the moment.
“I have not seen a sophisticated plan and structure,” SEC commissioner Greg Sankey told SI’s Ross Dellenger. “I will be the first to say I’m open to alternative approaches, but they have to be grounded in eliminating these hits. The ejection and suspension from the next half of a game is a fairly blunt instrument, but it makes the point to change behavior.”