If you have been watching college football the past couple of weeks you have no doubt become familiar with the “targeting” penalty that is being called at an alarming rate. Much like it’s NFL brethren, NCAA football administrators are taking significant steps to ensure the health and safety of its players. This has led to a new wrinkle in the rule which, when enforced, results in a 15 yard penalty and an automatic ejection of the player.
To have a player ejected is a significant penalty, especially when that decision is being made by the referee’s at game speed. The referee’s are also being tasked with the job of having to translate intent when a defensive player goes full speed into a receiver.
As if that wasn’t confusing enough, after the penalty, there is an automatic review by the booth to determine in slow motion if the defensive player really targeted the head of a defenseless receiver or led with the crown of his helmet. If the booth determines that the referee was wrong, than they reverse the ejection but the 15 yard penalty still stands.
I know, that doesn’t make a lot of sense. Here is a video of it as it happened to Alabama in their game against Ole Miss today.
This is the monster hit that earned Eddie Jackson the temporary ejection. After they reviewed the tape they decided that he could continue to play.
I understand the point of the rule but I think this needs to be addressed. If the ejection can be overturned then why do they still enforce the penalty? I hope the rules committee gets together and reevaluate this rule soon.