As Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby found out the hard way, the NCAA will go to extreme lengths to protect the safety of its players.
The junior was ejected for targeting following his hit on tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz during the first quarter of the Buckeyes' matchup against Iowa on Saturday.
Another targeting ejection: Ohio State CB Bradley Roby— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) October 19, 2013
Roby is just the latest victim of college football’s most controversial rule. In fact, he’s already the fourth player to be ejected today.
Florida safety Cody Riggs, South Carolina safety Kadetrix Marcus and Georgia defensive end Ray Drew were also penalized for targeting earlier on Saturday.
However, unlike the calls against Marcus and Drew—both which were pretty questionable—Roby’s hit was totally deserving of the penalty:
As you can see, Roby lowers his head and launches himself towards Fiedorowicz. That is as clear as it gets when it comes to targeting. Not to mention, this was following a play where he injured Hawkeyes running back Damon Bullock on a helmet-to-helmet hit.
NBC Sports Radio’s Jason Horowitz agreed with the call:
#OhioState Bradley Roby ejected for targeting. Unlike some that have been called and overturned, this one looks like why rule implemented— Jason Horowitz (@HorowitzJason) October 19, 2013
But just because the crime fits, doesn’t necessarily mean we agree with the law in place.
As for the rule, MIAA provides us with an extensive explanation:
Note 1: “Targeting” means that a player takes aim at an opponent for purposes of attacking with an apparent intent that goes beyond making a legal tackle or a legal block or playing the ball. Some indicators of targeting include but are not limited to:
• Launch—a player leaving his feet to attack an opponent by an upward and forward thrust of the body to make contact in the head or neck area
• A crouch followed by an upward and forward thrust to attack with contact at the head or neck area—even though one or both feet are still on the ground
• Leading with helmet, forearm, fist, hand or elbow to attack with contact at the head or neck area
• Lowering the head before attacking by initiating contact with the crown of the helmet
Whatever the case, the penalty stripped Ohio State of arguably its best defender and a preseason All-American.
It was a pretty big loss for the team. That became evident when Roby’s replacement, Armani Reeves, had a lapse in coverage on Iowa’s go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter.
As for Roby? He's still confident in his teammates:
We still gon get this W, believe that.— Bradley Roby (@BradRoby_1) October 19, 2013
The Buckeyes proved Roby's prediction correct, topping the Hawkeyes 34-24.