The NCAA announced potential football rules changes Thursday, including adjustments to the implementation and application of targeting fouls.
The Football Rules Committee suggests replay officials be given more authority to review calls on the field by "requiring them to review all aspects of targeting fouls."
In addition, the panel proposed replay officials be given the ability to stop the game and create a targeting foul if they rule one was missed by on-field officials.
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While the targeting rule, if not for its existence as much as what many seem to perceive as inconsistent application, does not seem to be popular among fans or media who voice their concerns regularly on social media during games, rules committee chairman Bob Nielson indicated via a statement it is not going anywhere.
"The targeting rule is serving the game well, and has enhanced player safety," said Bob Nielson, chair of the committee and head coach at the University of South Dakota. "Because this is such a severe penalty, we are instructing replay officials to review plays to ensure that the required elements of targeting exist. We are also adding the ability for the replay official to stop the game when a potential targeting foul is not detected on the field."
Other potential changes announced include allowing coaches to use electronic devices during games in the press box and locker room (but not on the sideline), defining players who slide to give themselves up "defenseless," banning deliberate tripping of the ball carrier and prohibiting a player who leaves the tackle box from blocking below the waist toward the initial position of the ball.
These changes are not official yet.
After a comment period for member schools, they will be forwarded to the Playing Rules Oversight Panel to be considered March 8.
If the oversight panel approves them, the rules changes would take effect this fall.