NCAA approves rule ejecting players for targeting

Submitted by dnak438 on March 7th, 2013 at 12:36 PM

This is going to be a problem, I think.

From (LINK):

The Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a new football rule that requires players who target and contact defenseless players above the shoulders to be ejected, effective for the 2013 season. The change increases the on-field penalty for targeting by adding the automatic ejection to the existing 15-yard penalty.

The new rule in football means that discipline for those players flagged for violations will mirror the penalty for fighting. If the foul occurs in the first half of a game, the player is ejected for the remainder of the game. If the foul occurs in the second half or overtime of a game, the player is ejected for the remainder of the game and the first half of the next contest.

In an effort to address concerns when one of these plays is erroneously called on the field, the ejection portion of the penalty will be reviewable through video replay. The replay official must have conclusive evidence that a player should not be ejected to overturn the call on the field.

There were also other changes: 

  • the blocking below the waist rule has been simplified
  • jersey and pant colors must be different from the field of play [EDIT: my mistake]
  • a 10-second runoff for injuries with less than a minute in the half 
  • 3 seconds is the minimum amount of time required to spike the ball
  • number changes must be reported to the referee



March 7th, 2013 at 12:46 PM ^

I guarantee the ejection rule is going to cause problems.  NCAA officials aren't good enough to enforce this rule properly.  Heck, NFL officials aren't either for that matter.


March 7th, 2013 at 12:46 PM ^

"jersey and pant colors must be different from the field of play"

So, no one can wear green anymore?   (Or blue for Boise St.)

This is odd.   I never knew there was a "camouflage" problem in football


March 7th, 2013 at 12:56 PM ^

My mistake: 

In other action, the oversight panel denied the Football Rules Committee’s proposal to require an institution’s jersey or pant color to be different from the field of play, citing concerns that it did not enhance the image of the game.

I was working quickly and I knew that the rule had been proposed, but I missed the keyword (denied).


March 7th, 2013 at 3:49 PM ^

Also, the rule proposal was for either the jersey or the pants to be a different color than the field, not necessarily both. This was to prevent Boise from wearing all blue uniforms on their smurf turf.


March 7th, 2013 at 12:50 PM ^

so the refs will automatically take off 3 seconds for a spike even if it takes less time? seems to reduce the effectiveness but will hopefully end those clockgate-esque situations at the end of games.

I think the ejection rule will cause some big issues, especially if it occurs in the 2nd half of a minor game and the player is out a half for a big game the next week. I don't know if this would have affected us any last year but i know if it happens this year i'll be super pissed about it. I can see what they are going for with the rule, emphasizing player saftey and all that, but it seems like it is going to cause more pissed off fans since many of those defenseless reciever calls are "bang bang plays" and even with review some ref is gonna screw it up because he is human and its going to be a shit show for whoever gets screwed by the rule.


March 7th, 2013 at 1:03 PM ^

I think the conclusion with the spike rule is that a spike takes 2 seconds (or more than 1).  Thus, in order to get another play in after the spike the clock must show at least 3 seconds when the spike play begins.  This is coming from my memory based on discussion in a previous thread on the board, though.


March 7th, 2013 at 12:53 PM ^

Also: “Jerseys must have clearly visible, permanent Arabic numerals measuring at least 8 and 10 inches in height front and back, respectively, and be of one solid color that itself is clearly in distinct contrast with the color of the jersey, irrespective of any border around the number.”

Would this have affected our Outback bowl unis, I wonder? That would be OK with me.


March 7th, 2013 at 12:53 PM ^

This new rule of ejecting a player for "targeting" is going to factor in to a few games this Fall.  Refs are going to throw the flag on any big lick from a DB.  Then they'll go to review and they'll error on the side of caution because that's what they do, and the kid will get ejected.  And if the unlucky player gets flagged in the 2nd half, he'll be suspended for the following game.

Can you imagine one of our safeties getting flagged in the 2nd half of the Iowa game, then having to sit out the OSU game too?

I don't like this.  I don't like it at all.


March 7th, 2013 at 2:20 PM ^

when there is an injury, I think.

I agree that a straight ejection is problematic (as opposed, say, to giving a player a warning before ejecting him if he repeats the violation). I would guess that the NCAA's logic is that although the rule will result in some questionable calls and suboptimal results in important (and not-so-important) games, the rule will change the culture of the game in the long run. (To be clear: I'm not saying that I approve of this logic).


March 7th, 2013 at 2:18 PM ^

and i think a lot of this comes from something that drives me crazy as a football fan. basically once a player with the ball gets beyond the linebackers, tackling is no longer involved. how many times do you see DBs shoulder block a guy catching a ball near him, 90+%? if the guys actually wrapped their arms around and tackled i think just that in itself could take away some of the helmet to face you see so much of


March 7th, 2013 at 12:56 PM ^

The replay official must have conclusive evidence that a player should not be ejected to overturn the call on the field. 

We're talking about intent.  What is "conclusive evidence" of intent?


March 7th, 2013 at 2:24 PM ^

i think it would have to be something along the lines of leaving your feet to launch at the other player would be a good determining factor. that plus leading with your head and aiming directly at the opposing player's face. if they went back to actually tackling instead of trying to make EPSN's highlight reel with a big hit, there would be a lot less ambiguity about the call. it would be harder to call it a hit on a defenseless player if you're wrapping your arms around for a tackle rather than just trying to blow the guy up.


March 7th, 2013 at 12:58 PM ^

...this uniform rule was adopted:

To clarify uniform rules as follows: “Jerseys must have clearly visible, permanent Arabic numerals measuring at least 8 and 10 inches in height front and back, respectively, and be of one solid color that itself is clearly in distinct contrast with the color of the jersey, irrespective of any border around the number.” This rule goes into effect for Football Bowl Subdivision teams in 2013. Football Championship Subdivision, Division II and Division III teams will have until 2014 before the rule becomes effective.

So, no football versions of Michigan's basketball "All Yellows" (purposeful usage) are allowed.

Edit: Dnak made a similar comment while I was creating mine, so kudos to him.


March 7th, 2013 at 1:10 PM ^

that this will have a bearing on, the clock will be starting on the spot and whistle, not the snap.  I have always been suspect of the plausibility of whistle, snap, spike, whistle in 2 seconds.  That is a lot to do in 2 seconds. 

This could eliminate some late game drama, but I think that the rule is in place because the time keeper literally cannot start and stop as rapidly as required.  With that human error involved, 2 seconds actually becomes 4 seconds and a spike is permitted when it really was not in time.


March 7th, 2013 at 1:00 PM ^

I don't know if I've ever actually seen targeting called.  Do they announce targeting, or just "personal foul"?  I (obviously) recall hearing "Personal foul - facemask" or "Roughing the passer", etc. but I can't ever recall hearing 'targeting'.


March 7th, 2013 at 7:31 PM ^

The rule is that either the pants or jerseys must clearly contrast from the field of play.
Edit: Nevermind. I didn't realize they shot down that rule.


March 7th, 2013 at 1:02 PM ^

this implys intent (or does it apply to any hit to the head regardless if the player intended to do it or not).  Seems like it would be hard sometimes, to determin if it was intentional or not.

the Glove

March 7th, 2013 at 1:04 PM ^

If you have the ESPN Radio app or go on to the ESPN website, check out Ivan Maisel podcast from 2 weeks ago ( it's the only 1). He had the coach of Navy on who was the head of the Oversight Committee. They discuss all of the rule changes, including uniforms and targeting. The podcast change my opinion on the rules, I agree with majority of them now.


March 7th, 2013 at 1:09 PM ^

Hope there's more clarification on that injury run off rule. I'd hate to see a team screwed because an opponent uses it to their advantage. There's not much clarification in the link.


March 7th, 2013 at 1:19 PM ^

So the runoff is 10 seconds for an injury if it occurs in the final minute of a half.  Question - does this only apply to the team with possession of the ball? 

Hypothetical situation:   Imagine we can have a redo of the MSU game from a decade ago.  One of Michigan's players gets hurt with less than 10 seconds to go, causing the runoff.  Michigan wins the game because the Sparties are never allowed to stop the clock with a phantom second on the scoreboard.  Now, instead of UM fans crying foul over a bogus stadium clock, Sparties cry foul over a dumb rule, especially if the UM player's injuries aren't severe.

This rule just seems like it has the potential for abuse if the runoff still applies if a D player gets hurt, if the D team has the lead.  I can totally see teams having a player take a dive to try and burn the clock off.  Or even more than one player, since the runoff takes place with a minute to go in the half, they can have a player get "hurt" on every subsequent play until the clock is at 0.   Am I the only one that sees this potential for shenanigans?

Sons of Louis Elbel

March 7th, 2013 at 2:24 PM ^

I'm sure that someone at Adidas is pissed that they can't break out Roman numerals. Talk about throwbacks...

Also, I wonder if the football 'targeting' reviews will become as useless/toothless as the BB ones.


March 7th, 2013 at 2:37 PM ^

I thought this might be worth sharing only because it is the only attempt I can find readily available that attempts to give this the context of how many times we could expect to see this.

In an article from last month, when this was still a proposal, ESPN talked to Troy Calhoun at Air Force (LINK) and here's what he had to say:

"Last season, Calhoun said, there were 99 targeting penalties called in the Football Bowl Subdivision that, under the proposed rule, would have called for an ejection. He said the player on the receiving end of the hit in many cases sustained a concussion or other type of injury that caused him to miss significant playing time. "

I have not yet been able to find a reliable source of penalties by type (I'll place it here if I do), but if that is correct, then it probably has the potential to affect key games somewhere down the line. It's rough math, but if you assumed for a second that there was one such targeting call in 99 separate games, then given the whole of the FBS, you're talking about 5-6% of the games played in regular seasons alone (doing this on my fingers basically, so I could be off), which doesn't seem entirely insignificant.

Section 1

March 7th, 2013 at 3:28 PM ^

Would the epic 1997 hit involving Daydrion Taylor and Bob Stephenson have called for an ejection?  It was of course moot in the case of both players, who never played again.  But under the new rules, and not knowing that Taylor would be physically incapable of returning to the game, would the referees have called a penalty on Taylor and ejected him?  And if he had been "ejected," would Taylor be forever branded and condemned as having committed a dirty hit on Stephenson?