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No More Penalty For Reversed Targeting Call

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College football teams no longer will incur a 15-yard penalty in the event of a reversed targeting call. Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images.
College football teams no longer will incur a 15-yard penalty in the event of a reversed targeting call. Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images.

It wasn't the controversial slow-down rule, but the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel did vote to institute one rules change on which nearly everyone can agree.

Perhaps Alabama coach Nick Saban and Arkansas coach Bret Bielema's master plan worked after all; maybe they had a hidden "target" in mind with all the campaigning as the change that did pass in a vote Thursday should benefit defenses.

Last season, any player committing a targeting penalty was subsequently ejected with his team incurring a 15-yard penalty. The ejection was reviewable and could be reversed, but the penalty remained even if replay ruled in favor of the penalized player.

That no longer will be the case. If a referee reverses a targeting call and ejection, the 15-yard penalty also will be wiped out, according to ESPN.

The consequences for a confirmed targeting penalty remain the same. If a player is flagged for targeting in the first half, he is suspended for the remainder of the game. If it occurs in the second half or overtime, he is ejected from the remainder of the game as well as the first half of the team's next game. A 15-yard penalty is enforced against the offending player in both scenarios.

A cursory search did not yield any data on the number of times a team would've avoided a penalty in the 2013 season due to this rule, but it seemingly occured at least once per Saturday.

The Playing Rules Oversight Panel tabled a rule that would prevent offenses from snapping the ball within the first 10 seconds of the play clock for at least one year.