HOOVER, Ala. — The SEC plans no changes to the rules on targeting penalties this fall. In fact, SEC director of officials Steve Shaw says the league’s rules committee is quite happy with the way things are going in that area of the game.
On Tuesday, Shaw made his yearly presentation to the media at the 2017 SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala. He addressed some relatively minor rules changes involving the proper use of knee pads and coaches staying on the sidelines, but he also took a fair amount of time to discuss a rule the league chose not to change.
“The rules committee is very comfortable that the targeting rule is being very effective,” Shaw said. “In season last year, we made some modifications [to the rule]. In season, we got some clarification on what is the crown of the helmet. A lot of people had thought the button on the top of your helmet was the crown, but we really got clarification to say where the face mask bolts into the helmet there’s a halo that goes all the way around the helmet, and that’s really your crown.”
During the 2016 football season, there were 26 targeting penalties called on SEC players, which is a number that appeared to please Shaw.
The results were that 16 of the calls were confirmed as correct on the field, five were ruled as a “call stands,” and five were overturned. Five of those 26 targeting calls were initiated by the booth.
“The way we talk about it, you’d think there were hundreds and hundreds of these,” Shaw continued. “There were actually very few, but it’s hits that we need to get out of the game. And I think we’re making good progress. If you watch film, those head hits are going down. And I think that’s an indication we’re going in the right direction.”
There will be no changes to the way the rule is applied this season, with a guilty party still subjected to a disqualification from the game.