Replay officials allowed to overrule refs on 'egregious' targeting plays

Replay officials will have more say about what is a targeting penalty in college football next season.

The NCAA playing rules oversight panel approved on Tuesday a proposal by the rules committee to expand instant replay officials' authority regarding targeting fouls. Replay officials now will be able to call "egregious" targeting penalties missed by on-field officials. They also will have more flexibility to overturn incorrect targeting calls.

Targeting results in a 15-yard penalty and the ejection of the player who commits the foul.

All targeting fouls are reviewed, but replay officials have been limited to reviewing only if there was forcible contact to the head and neck area and if the hit was made with the crown of the helmet. Under this proposal, how the contact occurred -- whether the player launched into an opponent or whether the contact was more incidental -- also can be reviewed.

There were 158 targeting penalties called in all FBS games last season. Forty-three were overturned by replay review, and 115 were upheld.

The oversight panel also approved the use of electronic devices such as laptop computers and tablets for coaching purposes during games. They will be permitted in press boxes and the locker room, but not on the sidelines.

The home school is responsible for ensuring identical television and video capability and Internet connectivity in the coaches' booths for both teams.

Other changes approved by the panel:

  • Players who leave the tackle box will be prohibited from blocking below the waist toward the initial position of the ball.

  • A ball carrier who has clearly given himself up by sliding feet first will be covered by rules pertaining to defenseless players.

  • Deliberately tripping a ball carrier with the leg will be a foul.