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Why did Gabe Lynn's targeting penalty stand after review? Walt Anderson explained the logic behind the rule in July

by Jason Kersey Published: September 14, 2013

NORMAN — Oklahoma senior safety Gabe Lynn was called for a targeting penalty late in the first quarter Saturday against Tulsa, and was handed an immediate ejection.

Upon review, though, officials chose not to eject Lynn, but the personal foul penalty stood.

At Big 12 Media Days in July, Walt Anderson, the Big 12’s coordinator of officials, was asked specifically why the penalty would stand if the ejection was overturned.

Here was his answer in full:

“Well, this was the big tradeoff relative to this rule because, when the rule first got proposed in January, it was just going to be a DQ, end of story, and we were actually one of the conferences that lobbied, say, look, that gives us no recourse on something that is incorrect.

“We understand what we’re trying to do, on the one hand, with eliminating it, but on the other hand, that’s a mighty severe penalty to really put on the burden of officials, because what’s going to happen if we don’t do that is officials are going to stop calling it.  Then it’s going to continue to occur.  We won’t get it out of the game.  And that’s what we’re trying to do, is to get this stuff out of the game.

“So the great compromise, if you will, was that, okay, if you got replay, rules committee says we’ll allow you to use replay to remove the DQ, but we’re not going to get into picking up flags because, although we’re very accurate relative to percentages on our accuracy — I mean, we were at 97.3 last year on our accuracy on the calls — we’re not going to go in and look at the other 2.7 percent because that’s the other side of that.

“So there’s a limitation as to what — and I think appropriately so — what the rules committee wants to allow replay to get with, because, if you think about what did we do last year, we erred on the side of calling it even when in question.  And we called 17 of them, I told you, and five of them were really technically not fouls, but they were correct by philosophy, and that’s what we have relative to this rule is a philosophy that the rules committee and the NCAA wants officials to apply.

“So even last year when we were technically incorrect, the foul did stay down.  So the same thing is going to happen relative to the foul, but we at least have the opportunity to remove the DQ from that.

“Again, great question, and that’s how it evolved.”

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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