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Report: NCAA approves change to 15-yard targeting penalty

Upheld targeting penalties will still cause the player to be automatically ejected. Upheld targeting penalties will still cause the offending player to be automatically ejected. (L.G. Patterson/AP)

In 2013 college football teams were penalized 15 yards when assessed a targeting penalty, even if that penalty was overturned on review. In 2014, teams won't have to worry about those 15 yards if the call is reversed.

According to ESPN's Brett McMurphy, the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a change to the rule Thursday so teams won't be penalized 15 yards when a targeting call is overturned upon review.

Last month the NCAA Football Rules Committee recommended the rule change, which awaited approval from the Oversight Panel.

“Overall, the targeting rule was successful and has had the intended impact of making play safer,” said Troy Calhoun, head coach at the Air Force Academy and chair of the committee, which met Monday through Thursday in Indianapolis. “This alteration keeps the intent of the rule, but allows replay to correct all of the consequences from a rare missed call.”
The NCAA revamped the targeting rule to include a player ejection in 2013 in an effort to place more emphasis on player safety. But while the rule's intent was noble, critics lashed when a 15-yard penalty would be assessed even if an official overturned the call. This is a good common-sense move by the NCAA, as it proves the organization is listening to the concerns of both coaches and fans in this instance.

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