Big 12 Allows 'Horns Down' in Non-Taunting Situations for 2019

Opponents may flash the 'Horns Down' sign a little more overtly in 2019. 
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The Big 12 cleared up confusion over the popular 'Horns Down' hand sign on Tuesday.

Conference coordinator of officials Greg Burks said the celebration will not be flagged in 2019 as long as it is employed in a non-taunting manner.

"Like any play, there is a degree–who's it's directed at," Burks said at Big 12 media days at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. "If they do it in their bench area, we're not going to look at it. It would be like any other celebration foul, so it has to be like any other foul we have. ... "I know people want us to be definitive on that, but it's like any touchdown celebration. Is it directed at an opponent or just celebration with your teammates?"

The hand sign is a popular sight at the Red River Showdown in Dallas each October as Texas and Oklahoma square off in the annual matchup of Big 12 heavyweights. West Virginia wide receiver David Sills was flagged for using the sign against the Longhorns in November, as was Mountaineers' quarterback Will Grier. 

Texas' 'Hook 'Em Horns' sign first originated in November 1955, according to ESPN's Dave Wilson. The first reported use of the 'Horns Down' sign came via a Baylor fan in 1963, per Wilson.