NCAA Announces Targeting Changes; Other Rule Adjustments

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    The NCAA Football Rules Committee has approved several new proposals for rules and regulations on Thursday morning, including changes to how the controversial “targeting” rule is enforced.

    The committee will distribute all of its proposals for NCAA membership comment next week before forwarding the proposals for consideration by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel on March 8. If approved, the changes would be implemented in the 2016 season, according to the release.

    The committee concluded that “in a small number” of cases, players were incorrectly thrown out of the game for targeting. Tennessee dealt with a controversial call in its game against Kentucky when cornerback Emmanuel Moseley was ejected in the second half, and then was forced to sit out the first half of the next game, after this hit:

    “The elements of targeting that replay officials will watch for include launching and forcible contact to the head, among other factors,” the NCAA said in its release.

    In addition, replay officials would also now also have the power to stop the game if they believe officials missed a potential targeting call on the field.

    “The targeting rule is serving the game well, and has enhanced player safety,” Bob Nielson, chair of the committee and head coach at the University of South Dakota, said in a release from the NCAA. “Because this is such a severe penalty, we are instructing replay officials to review plays to ensure that the required elements of targeting exist. We are also adding the ability for the replay official to stop the game when a potential targeting foul is not detected on the field.”

    The rules committee announced a few more proposels as well:

    • Voted to allow electronic devices to be used for coaching purposes in the press box and locker room during the game, however they will still be banned on the sideline and on the field
    • The rules dealing with low blocks were adjusted to prohibit a player who leaves the tackle box from blocking below the waist toward the initial position of the ball.
    • The rules pertaining to a defenseless player will include a ball carrier who has clearly given himself up by sliding feet first
    • The deliberate tripping of the ball carrier (with the leg) was approved as a foul