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What they're saying about the enforcement of college football's new targeting rule

Players, coaches and officials, including Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin and Alabama's Nick Saban, weigh in on the enforcement of the targeting rule.
by Ryan Aber Modified: September 22, 2013 at 10:00 am •  Published: September 21, 2013

Tulane cornerback Lorenzo Doss, who was the first player in college football ejected for targeting: “I tried to go for his legs and it just so happens he dove at the last minute. To me, it wasn't even a slide. He fell forward, so I think that's a bad call.”

National coordinator of officials Roger Redding: “We always want rule changes like this around player safety to impact players. Watching some of the game and video, I can see situations where you can clearly see a player changed his behavior. A defender coming across the middle might have lit up a player, and he's changing his behavior and target.”

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, after Deshazor Everett was ejected for targeting in Week 1: “That's a learning experience. I would imagine there will be a few of those calls now. With the enforcement of the new rule that's what's going to happen. So we have to adjust as coaches and players because that's the way it's going to be called and there's nothing you can do about it.”

Alabama coach Nick Saban: “Personally, on the rule itself, if you can review a play to say a guy should be ejected or not be ejected, to me, you should be able to review if it was a penalty or not a penalty. That's not what the rule is.”

Texas safety Adrian Phillips, who was penalized for targeting last week but had his ejection overturned by the replay booth: “Players aren't going to like it, but you have to respect the refs' decision. We can't change the way we play. We still have to go out there and do what we know, do what we're taught to do and just trust the refs make the right decision.”

Texas coach Mack Brown: “If we're going to go upstairs, and we're going to make a decision that it was not head-to-head and intentional, and if we're going to make the decision it wasn't even really a penalty, but since our rules says we can't pick it up, if we're going to take our time to delay the game and go up and make sure it's not targeting, why in the world can't you say, in fact, he hit him with his shoulder and it's (not) even a penalty? I think that's where it needs to change.”

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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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