NCAA committee proposes new video reviews of targeting fouls

By Ralph D. Russo - AP College Football Writer

The NCAA football rules committee has proposed giving video replay officials more authority to overturn incorrect targeting fouls and call targeting penalties when they are missed on the field.

The rules committee completed four days of meetings in Orlando, Florida, on Thursday and announced several proposals that could be implemented next season if approved by the playing rules oversight panel on March 8.

The targeting penalty was adopted in 2013 as a way to reduce helmet-to-helmet hits and potential head and neck injuries. The penalty for targeting is 15 yards, plus ejection of the player who committed the foul. All targeting fouls are reviewed and can be overturned, but replay officials have been limited to reviewing only if there was forcible contact to the head and neck area and if the hit was made with the crown of the helmet.

Under this proposal, how the contact occurred, whether the player launched into an opponent or whether the contact was more incidental, can be reviewed.

Replay officials also could be allowed to call targeting fouls missed by on-field officials, though NCAA coordinator of officials Rogers Redding emphasized only blatant and obvious missed targeting penalties will be called after video review.

Three other rule changes that fall under player safety were proposed:

— 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.

— A ball carrier who slides feet first will be treated as a defenseless player.

— Deliberate tripping of the ball carrier (with the leg) was approved as a foul.

The rules committee also proposed allowing technology such as tablet computers or laptops in the coach’s box and in the locker room, but not on the sideline.

The ineligible receiver rule was considered for a second straight year. Unlike last year, no changes to the foul were proposed, but the committee decided to instruct officials to more stringently enforce the 3-yard limit and to adjust how officials watch for linemen moving down field on pass plays.

Redding also said the committee will allow conferences to experiment with centralized video replay systems, where officials will monitor games from a command center away from the stadiums and have the ability to review plays.

By Ralph D. Russo

AP College Football Writer

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