This is absurd.
Tulsa wide receiver Justin Hobbs got penalized and his team lost a touchdown because he briefly high-stepped on his way into the end zone in the third quarter against SMU on Friday.
We’re going to be clear. The absurdity is not Hobbs’ brief high-step, which you can see below. It’s the fact that the official on the sideline deemed it worthy of a taunting penalty. Can’t football be fun?
It’s not like Hobbs ran high-stepped backwards into the end zone while taunting the SMU defenders he left in his wake after an impressive catch. He simply realized he was going to score, briefly celebrated and went on his merry way into the end zone.
Is what he did taunting any more than a player who slows his run to a walk at the end of a long touchdown with no defenders near him? We don’t think so.
The NCAA rule book says any act that is “very demonstrative” or considered to be taunting can get a touchdown wiped off the board, but the NCAA needs to tell officials to stop strictly enforcing the early-celebration rule. Or just stop enforcing it altogether and wipe it from the books. This is getting dumb.
The loss of the touchdown cost Tulsa four points too. The Golden Hurricane ended up kicking a field goal on the drive to go ahead 31-21 with 11:01 left in the third quarter.
The lead wouldn’t last. SMU overcame the 10-point deficit and won the game, 38-34, so the penalty ended up playing a big role in the final outcome.
We’ve seen a few other touchdowns taken off the board because of “excessive celebration.” Iowa’s Akrum Wadley was penalized against North Texas for a similar high-step.
ICYMI: It didn't count, but we all know this Akrum Wadley TD happened.
Excessive celebration? pic.twitter.com/x3pxtUDyj6
— Iowa On BTN (@IowaOnBTN) September 16, 2017
Missouri’s Damarea Crockett also lost a touchdown because he dove into the end zone against Missouri State in Week 1.
The penalty against Hobbs may be the worst one yet.
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