The NCAA is putting another spin on the targeting rule in the 2022 college football season.
It’s a rule that has been changed and adjusted since its introduction to the sport, and one that fans are not always happy to see go against their team. While it’s been put in place to limit serious injury, often it seems subjective to the referees involved.
Targeting can get players ejected from contests, as well as land teams a 15-yard penalty. The introduction of instant replay has helped cut down on wrongfully called targeting penalties, but it’s still not 100% correct.
Now, it seems the NCAA is tinkering with the rule even more, and it could have a major impact on pass rushers.
NCAA posts update on targeting rules
Targeting is defined as making forcible contact that goes beyond a legal tackle to a defenseless player. Below is the breakdown of different scenarios.
- Launch — a player leaving his feet to attack an opponent by an upward and forward thrust of the body to make forcible contact in the head or neck area
- A crouch followed by an upward and forward thrust to attack with forcible contact at the head or neck area, even though one or both feet are still on the ground
- Leading with helmet, shoulder, forearm, fist, hand or elbow to attack with forcible contact at the head or neck area
- Lowering the head before attacking by initiating forcible contact with the crown of the helmet
The Southeastern Conference’s Twitter page recently posted an update on the rule to include passers “in the act of throwing” as being defenseless players. This NCAA update adds even more to a rule that’s already controversial.
“A player in the act of or just after throwing a pass. This includes a player in a passing posture with focus downfield.”
It’s safe to say that fans are not happy.
Fans react to rule change
Fans are not happy seeing yet another adjustment to a rule that’s not been perfected. With the “in the act of throwing” update, a sack (if meeting one of the above conditions) could now be seen as targeting.
Just wait until your team gets a huge hit on the quarterback forcing a fourth and long, only to see a drive continue due to penalty. Take a look at the immediate reaction.
— ChattaVol🍊 (@Chatta_Vol) August 31, 2022
One fan asks, “Sacks are now penalties?”
— Rex Castillo (@rexcastillotv) August 31, 2022
Another says, “The SEC will allow zero sacks this season. That’s impressive.”
The SEC will allow zero sacks this season. That's impressive. https://t.co/aCiWPuMsL9
— Cody Nagel (@CodyNagel247) August 31, 2022
Fans want a further explanation. This will surely wind up affecting the outcome of a game in the 2022 season.
I would like an actual explanation from official of what a defensive player is supposed to do when he has a clean path to the quarterback. What can he do to make a tackle that isn’t a penalty, based on this wording? https://t.co/W1QwJxFQ9i
— Brian Rice (@briancrice) August 31, 2022
Fan don’t expect this new NCAA rules update to see a smooth transition. One college football supporter writes, “This is going to go VERY poorly.”
This tweet sums things up pretty perfectly. “This will cause massive issues.”
This will cause massive issues. https://t.co/N2MNcsMslI
— Unnecessary Roughness (@UnnecRoughness) August 31, 2022
It will only be a matter of time before this update has a negative impact on a game. Hopefully, your team won’t be on the losing end.
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