Beginning this year in college football, players who target and contact defenseless players above the shoulders can be ejected from the game, following through on a recommendation made in February by the NCAA Football Rules Committee.
The automatic ejection will be added to the 15-yard penalty already in place in cases of targeting. The rule will be the same as the existing penalty for fighting: if a player is penalized in the first half he will miss the remainder of the game; if he is penalized in the second half he will miss the remainder of the game and the first half of his team’s next contest.
While the initial call is at a referee’s discretion, an official upstairs in the replay booth may review the ejection portion of the penalty. As with any reviewable play – like a completion, fumble or disputed touchdown – the replay official must have conclusive visual evidence to overturn the original ruling. Even if the ejection is overturned, the 15-yard penalty still stands.
Other rule changes approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel include:
-Adding a 10-second runoff with less than a minute left in the first and second half when the clock stops due to injury.
-Prohibiting teams from spiking the football when there are less than three seconds remaining on the clock. Instead, the offense can run only one more play when there are one or two seconds left.
-Allowing replay officials to adjust the clock at the end of each quarter. In the past, the NCAA only allowed for such clock changes at the end of each half.
-Requiring that any number changes that occur during a game to be reported directly to the referee, who will make an announcement.
-Prohibiting two players on the same team who play the same position from wearing the same uniform number.
Below is a video put together by the NCAA in regards to the targeting rule.
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