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Big 12 Officials: Horns Down Will Lead To A Taunting Penalty

Any team that does the trademark "Horns Down" now could face a penalty on Saturday

ARLINGTON -- On Thursday morning, the Big 12 announced that there will be a new penalty added to the list this fall. Anyone opposing player who drops the "Horns Down" symbol could be subject to a penalty against them. 

"Lemme put it this way," Big 12 coordinator of officials Greg Burks said at Big 12 Media Days. "If you do a Horns Down to a Texas player as an opponent, that's probably going to be a foul."

Burks clarified his statements saying that while doing it to a player would lead to a penalty, towards the crowd would not. Then again, that also will be based on the officials' decisions rather than set in stone. 

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"Please all of you note, I said 'probably,'" Burks added. "We have to consider intent and consider the situation. We'll leave it to officials."  

This has been a problem for years, and a question Burks has answered on multiple occasions. In 2019, he was asked if they would punish players for doing the notion against Texas football.

"I know people want us to be definitive on that, but it's like any touchdown celebration," Burks told reporters in 2019. "Is it directed at an opponent or just celebration with your teammates?"  

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This year, the Horns Down issue has been singled out taunting as one of its biggest priorities for officials. Now, the problem will solve itself. 

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"I promise you, we discuss this every year, because you discuss this every year," Burks said. "I hope in the future that somebody else's symbols will come into play and not just the Horns."

The Longhorns open up the season at home against No. 19 Louisiana on September 4.   

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