Was It Targeting?

Anyone watching the Florida-Auburn might be wondering if the Auburn hit to UF running back Pierce was targeting. Let me assist you. The following is verbatim from the rule book: (see underlined text)

Targeting and Making Forcible Contact
With the Crown of the Helmet
ARTICLE 3. No player shall target and make forcible contact against an opponent with the crown of his helmet. This foul requires that there be at least one indicator of targeting (See Note 1 below). When in question, it is a foul. (Rule 9-6) (A.R. 9-1-3-I)

Targeting and Making Forcible Contact to Head
or Neck Area of a Defenseless Player
ARTICLE 4. No player shall target and make forcible contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent (See Note 2 below) with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulder. This foul requires that there be at least one indicator of targeting (See Note 1 below). When in question, it is a foul (Rules 2-27-14 and 9-6). (A.R. 9-1-4-I-VI)
Note 1: “Targeting” means that a player takes aim at an opponent for purposes of attacking with forcible contact that goes beyond making a legal tackle or a legal block or playing the ball. Some indicators of targeting include but are not limited to:

  • Launch—a player leaving his feet to attack an opponent by an upward and forward thrust of the body to make forcible contact in the head or neck area
  • A crouch followed by an upward and forward thrust to attack with forcible contact at the head or neck area, even though one or both feet are still on the ground
  • Leading with helmet, shoulder, forearm, fist, hand or elbow to attack with forcible contact at the head or neck area
  • Lowering the head before attacking by initiating forcible contact with the crown of the helmet

So, yes, Gator fans – it was indeed targeting. This wasn’t a difficult call yet the officials muffed it badly. I was mostly curious about what rule book actually said.

But I won’t lose any sleep over it. It is just a football game and there are so many other things to worry about…like climate change. I was listening to Steve Russell’s phone in show after the game and couldn’t help but think that if these effing football fans were as passionate about the extinction of humanity due to climate change the world might be a better place. Isn’t it something how fans will spend thousands of dollars over the course of a season but cry bloody murder if their property taxes go up $100.

There is no hope – we are doomed. Thankfully, I’ll be long gone before the worst comes.

Ciao.

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