College Football: NCAA Continues Streak Of Common Sense, Approves Targeting Rule Changes

By Brandon Cavanaugh
Mark Emmert and NCAA change up targeting rule
Joe Robbins-Getty Images

The NCAA is on a staggering common sense streak, which means we should all be very scared. First, the 10-second proposal by Bret Bielema backed by Nick Saban was shelved. Next, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel smacked down the goofy notion that a 15-yard penalty stuck following a targeting penalty even if the player charged was ejected.

Overall, the targeting rule didn’t do much to alter the outcome of games during the 2013 season. That’s what Pac-12 referees are for. This is one rule that I can actually get behind due to a legitimate concern for player safety. The guideline’s heading in the right direction, and I certainly don’t envy the referees who have to make that kind of call.

Knowing that you could stand between a young man and a bleak future’s a tough situation to be in. This could potentially cause the urge to pitch a yellow hanky come far too easily. That said, since the entire process is now reviewable, everyone involved should be able to accept it.

The panel also passed a 15-yard penalty for below-the-knee hits on quarterbacks. According to the rule, “The defensive player also may not initiate a roll or lunge and forcibly hit the quarterback in the knee area or below.” Once the quarterback switches over to a runner, that foul goes out the window.

While the 10-second rule wasn’t actually voted on, it’ll likely come up again next offseason. Why? Because Bielema can’t leave well enough alone, that’s why. That and the Arkansas Razorbacks have to stay relevant somehow.

Brandon Cavanaugh is a Big 10 writer for Follow him on Twitter @eightlaces, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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