The NCAA announced Tuesday that its Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved rule changes involving targeting penalties and overtime, categories which would have directly impacted LSU football during the 2018 season.
Starting in the 2019 season, there will now be a higher standard for reviewing targeting penalties, and the overtime format will change once teams reach a fifth overtime.
The new rules say that when targeting penalties are reviewed, officials must confirm that all the elements of targeting are present. “If any element of targeting cannot be confirmed,” the new rule states, “the replay official will overturn the targeting foul. There will not be an option for letting the call on the field ‘stand.’ ”
The full elements of targeting, per the NCAA rulebook, include when there is a “defenseless player,” who is struck by a player who makes “forcible contact in the head or neck area.”
The new rules also state that a player who commits three targeting fouls in the same season “are subject to a one-game suspension” from the team’s next game.
The NCAA panel also tweaked the overtime rules, stating that if a game reaches a fifth overtime, teams will run alternating two-point plays, instead of starting another drive at the opponent’s 25.
“This rules change was made to limit the number of plays from scrimmage and to bring the game to a conclusion,” the NCAA said.
The rule changes followed the format that was proposed by the NCAA Football Rules Committee, led by Stanford coach David Shaw, in early March. The only differences were that the initial proposal said that a player would receive a full-game suspension after he receives a second targeting foul in the same season.
The initial proposal also included a two-minute rest period after the second and fourth overtimes.
The overtime rule change is almost certainly in response to LSU’s 74-72, seven-overtime loss at Texas A&M in the 2018 regular season finale, a game that lasted 4 hours, 53 minutes and included a total of 197 plays — 50 in overtime.
And the targeting rule has been the subject of debate since it was adopted by the NCAA in 2013.
Four LSU players were ejected for targeting in 2018, and inside linebacker Jacob Phillips was ejected twice — in the first half against Southeastern and in overtime against Texas A&M.
LSU fans voiced displeasure when strong safety Grant Delpit was ejected from the Fiesta Bowl in what appeared to be incidental targeting — and, of course, after inside linebacker Devin White was controversially ejected from the Mississippi State game, prompting the “Free Devin White” movement that raised more $6,200 to put billboards voicing fan outrage near the Southeastern Conference headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama.
“The instant replay review changes will ensure that when a player is disqualified, it is clearly warranted,” NCAA secretary-rules editor Steve Shaw said in a released statement in March, when the new rules were proposed.
- Why cricket, and not football, rules in India
- How the Supreme Court is changing the rules on voting
- What is the gig economy court ruling about, and will it affect other workers?
- PREVIEW: Poland to make changes for Colombia
- NCAA's Baylor investigation is almost complete. Here's why there won't be a big penalty
- How The NFL's New Helmet Rule Could Change Football As We Know It
- How the Supreme Court ruling on online sales taxes affects Texas online shoppers
- Longmont police rule Target fire an arson, seek suspects
- Miss America Changes the Rules, Axes Swimsuit Competition: 'We Are No Longer a Pageant'
- Here's when the 2018-19 Championship fixtures are released