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Report: NCAA approves change to targeting rule; teams will no longer be penalized if ejection overturned

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Apr 8, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Fans take photos in front of a giant NCAA logo before the championship game in the 2013 NCAA mens Final Four at the Georgia Dome. (Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports)

When the NCAA Rules Committee proposed the highly-publicized ten second substitution rule that was subsequently withdrawn Wednesday, the Committee also proposed a change to the controversial targeting penalty.

According to a report from ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, the change was approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Thursday.

The rule, which will go into effect this season, means that teams will no longer be issued a 15-yard penalty if officials overturn a targeting penalty. When the targeting rule was instituted last season to put more emphasis on player safety, the team was penalized 15 yards even if the targeting foul was overturned after a video replay.

Targeting penalties will always be reviewed and if upheld, the player will still be ejected on top of the 15-yard penalty. In addition, players who are penalized for targeting in the second half of a game will be held out of the first half of the subsequent game.

The targeting rule was a large source of contention in the college football world at the beginning of the 2013 season and the fact that the 15-yard penalty could not be overturned was at the center of many critics’ issues with the rule. If an ejection can be overturned, the penalty should be overturned as well.

This is a good move by the NCAA.

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