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PROP approves slight alteration of targeting rule

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved an alteration involving the instant-replay review on targeting fouls in college football on Thursday.

Starting with the 2014 season, if the instant replay official rules that a disqualification should not have occurred, and if the targeting foul is not accompanied by another personal foul, the 15-yard penalty for targeting will not be enforced.

However, if the player commits the targeting foul in conjunction with another personal foul, the 15-yard penalty for that personal foul remains. For example, if a player is called for roughing the passer and targeting the head and neck area, but the instant replay official rules that targeting did not occur, the player flagged would remain in the game, but the roughing the passer penalty would still be enforced.

The NCAA implemented the targeting rule last season, and officials ejected any player committing the penalty and assessed his team with a 15-yard penalty. If the instant replay official ruled that targeting did not take place and a disqualification should not have occurred, the player was allowed to return to the game, but the penalty yardage was still marked off.

In games where instant replay is not in use, on-field officials have the option to review first-half targeting calls during halftime. This rule is used only when it is a conference’s policy or both teams mutually consent. It is the responsibility of the home team to provide the parameters for the use of video. The referee must be conduct the review in the officials’ locker room.

Officials could then reverse the targeting call and allow the player to compete in the second half. Most games in the Football Championship Subdivision, Division II and Division III are not televised, so this modification gives those teams greater flexibility to review targeting fouls during a game.