Big Ten to Football Officials on Targeting: When in Doubt, Throw Him Out

Helmet Hits Big Ten

A new policy requiring the ejection of players for targeting defenseless players above the shoulders will be in effect when the college football season begins. The change is part of the ever-increasing emphasis on safety. The immediate dismissal of a defensive player is far more severe than the existing 15-yard penalty, and, ideally, should serve as a deterrent for would-be offenders.

But there’s fear the new rule will be applied too often. News out of today’s Big Ten officials clinic will do little to quell that fear.


There are fail-safes in place. The replay official will review all ejections to make sure a player is not being penalized for a legal hit.

There was just one ejection for a helmet-to-helmet hit in Big Ten play last year. Expect that number to rise drastically, especially if this rhyming mantra is taken to heart by officials.

[Photo via USA Today Sports]

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