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Big 12 football: Players, coaches concerned about new 'targeting' rule

by Jenni Carlson Published: July 23, 2013

photo - Texas head coach Mack Brown argues a call during the first quarter of the Alamo Bowl NCAA football game against Oregon State, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in San Antonio.  (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas head coach Mack Brown argues a call during the first quarter of the Alamo Bowl NCAA football game against Oregon State, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Each day at Big 12 Media Days we'll ask players and coaches for their opinions on some hot topics in and around college football.

Today's question: Does college football's new targeting rule worry you?

* Mack Brown, Texas coach: “Yes. The targeting penalty really worries me. Let me start by saying I'm on board with all the safety concerns. Concussions are huge. You never want to see a young man get paralyzed. But I've seen the inconsistency of the call with head-to-head over the last several years, and it's tough enough when it costs you 15 yards. But to be able to eject a young man with no appeal and cost him playing time the next week on a possible error by an official is something that I think we've pushed too far. What I'd love to do, and what I'll suggest in the future is that we take it upstairs and that the head-to-head penalty is decided by the official upstairs for the severity. ... But I'm afraid we've moved too fast here and that you could really hurt a team or really hurt a young man by taking him out of the game, and then sit there on Sunday and say, ‘We missed it.' I disagree with the huge jump that we took. I understand why. I'm not trying to belittle safety, but I do feel like we've gone too far.”

* Ahmad Dixon, Baylor defensive back: “I'm not going to say I'm worried about it, but it's something I think about. I'm a hard hitter. That's what I do. That's what I've been known for is my ability to hit. Now that I have to watch where I hit somebody, the way I hit somebody, it'll be a little bit different. It's something to think about. Not nothing to worry about, but something to think about.”

* Jeremiah George, Iowa State linebacker: “Obviously, the rule has good intentions for player safety, but it doesn't worry me. At the end of the day, I'm going to play the game of football the way I play the game of football. I don't think it'll be a worry of mine or many of my teammates.”

* Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia coach: “Our deal is, the first Saturday of every camp in August, we're going to bring referees in, we're going to try to present it in the best way that we possibly can. I have not been prepared to be able to do that yet. So, I want to get prepared, I want to the referees to get prepared, I want to get a presentation together. And we do it every year, it's not just about the targeting … Then, during practice, if we see something that's not right, that breaks the rule, we'll address it.”

* Trey Millard, Oklahoma fullback: “I'm not really a fan of it. You kind of think as an offensive player, it's protecting you, but at the same time ... football's a physical game. Ejections for an accident seem kind of ... I mean, sometimes there are clear instances where a guy is aiming for the head and you can kind of tell. But I feel like a lot of them, and the ones I'm not going to be happy with as not only a player but also a fan and as someone who loves the sport, is when someone accidently hits somebody and instead of just getting a penalty, they get taken out of the game. It can change games.”

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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