NCAA Gets It Right on Adjusting the Ejection for Targeting Rule

Ben Kercheval@@BenKerchevalCollege Football Lead WriterMarch 6, 2014

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As odd as this sounds, the NCAA did something right on Thursday. 

Of course, it was in an effort to rectify a previous wrong, but you know, baby steps and what not. 

On Thursday, the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved the adjustment to the controversial targeting rule, according to ESPN's Brett McMurphy. 

According to the new rule, teams will not be penalized 15 yards if a targeting call against a player is overturned. 

The original rule, implemented last year, ejected a player for targeting and enforced a 15-yard penalty. However, even if the targeting call was overturned by video review and the player was not ejected, the 15-yard penalty stood. 

It's already been written and surely will be again many more times, but the early theme is that common sense has prevailed here. 

It made no sense whatsoever for a team to be punished when a game official would essentially admit that the original penalty wasn't a penalty at all. 

The NCAA got it right this time. That should be pointed out.

It won't be, however—at least to the level of Wednesday's news from a teleconference (h/t USA Today's George Schroeder) that the defensive substitution rule would be tabled.  The "10-second rule", as it was unofficially known, would have allowed defenses the chance to substitute players in the first 10 seconds of a 40-second game clock. 

The substitution proposal was met with strong opposition from the beginning. Since there was little-to-no scientific data backing the argument that hurry-up, no-huddle offenses caused more injuries, it was easy to lambaste.  

Far easier, in fact, than to acknowledge that the NCAA did a good thing at the same time by adjusting the targeting rule. 

Officials will still err on the side of caution when throwing the flag with the knowledge that it can always be overturned. That's been the objective since Day 1 when the rule was passed. What needs to be improved upon is how consistently officials across all conferences make the call. 

Ben Kercheval is a national lead college football writer for Bleacher Report.


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