NCAA CFB Rules Committee Approves Changes to Targeting Rule, Addresses Fake Injuries

Adam WellsApril 21, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - JANUARY 10: The 2022 CFP National Championship logo is seen on the field before the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2022 CFP National Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 10, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel has approved several rule changes for the 2022 season. 

Per Greg Johnson of NCAA.org, the main changes include increasing the accuracy of the targeting rule and address teams that attempt to gain an injury timeout by having a player fake an injury. 

The other significant rule change allows for only offensive linemen and stationary backs inside the tackle box to block an opponent below the waist. Below-the-waist blocks by players outside of the tackle box on scrimmage plays are prohibited. 

The NCAA Football Rules Committee announced last month it was considering a series of proposed rules changes.   

Stanford head coach David Shaw, who is also chair of the committee, told reporters that recent history suggests the changes will only impact "a handful of calls" during the season. 

Under the previous targeting rule, players who were ejected in the second half of a game were also required to sit out the first half of the next game. 

The new rule allows for an appeal after the game if a player is ejected in the second half in games that have instant replay. 

"The process will begin with a conference submitting a request to the NCAA national coordinator of officials, who would review video of the play," according to Johnson. "If it is obvious that a player was incorrectly penalized for targeting, the call would be overturned, and the player would be cleared to play in the first half of the next game."

Questionable injury situations resulting in an injury timeout being given will now be subject to a reporting and investigation process. 

"Schools and conferences will be able to report questionable scenarios to the national coordinator of officials, who will review and provide feedback to the conference for further action. Any penalties levied would be up to the conference office or school involved," Johnson wrote. 

Injured players are still required to sit out at least one play. 

Other rule changes that were approved include officials ruling a ball-carrier down at the spot if they simulate a feet-first slide, and defensive holding will remain a 10-yard penalty and give the offense an automatic first down.