This Should Be No Fun At All
I’m a few days behind on this one, but it’s Spring Break, so I’m sure you understand why writing was put on the back burner for a while. Anyways, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel officially made “targeting” an offense that warrants ejection from the game, beginning in 2013. I’m about to link to Bleacher Report, but it’s because Adam Kramer wrote the piece and he’s awesome, so don’t get mad at me for linking BR. Here you can read his take on the new rule, a viewpoint I strongly agree with.
While yes, it is important that we protect the players from traumatic head injuries such as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), I don’t believe this is the right way to go about it.
The gist of this new rule can be summed up in the NCAA release that the BR article above also used.
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.
Additionally, a postgame conference review remains part of the rule, and conferences retain their ability to add to a sanction. The committee will also allow a postgame review to reduce a suspension if warranted.
The thing that worries me the most about this rule is having to watch Pac-12 refs make sense of this rule, and enforce it in real time. Can you just imagine how much of a shit show this is going to be? I’m pretty sure Casey Locker should just be suspended indefinitely right now, just to get ahead of the curve.
The definition of “targeting” is so loosely defined, it’s sure to be misinterpreted by officials all across college football, even some of the better ones. Now if the good ones are likely to get this wrong, where does that leave the Pac-12? In a huge shit storm, that’s where.
As much as that Casey Locker comment was a joke, it was almost just as equally a serious statement. We’ve already spent years watching the Pac-12 screw up targeting calls that at worst just meant a penalty flag was coming. But now these egregiously bad calls are going to seriously affect Pac-12 games.
When I first read that article this thought was my first, and basically only, thought on the subject. There are other problems with the rule as it’s written, but this was my biggest qualm, having to watch Pac-12 officials scramble to make these decisions is going to be beyond annoying.
I do not trust the refs and I do not trust the replay booth to get most of these calls right, making this rule the wrong decision in my eyes. Also, having played football, I know that even the thought of a looming suspension will not cross your mind when lining a player up for a hit.
I’m not sure what the answer is, because this is an incredibly complicated situation to try and solve, but I do know that this is not the answer.
What do you guys think? I’m interested to know.