College football: Opportunity to appeal targeting suspension added

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields gets hit by Clemson linebacker James Skalski during the first half of the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, in New Orleans. Skalski was ejected from the game for targeting. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

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Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields gets hit by Clemson linebacker James Skalski during the first half of the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game Friday, Jan. 1, 2021, in New Orleans. Skalski was ejected from the game for targeting. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

College football has tweaked the targeting rule in a way that could allow some players to get back on the field sooner.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight committee announced Thursday players who are ejected in the second half of a game for targeting could have the penalty overturned after the game and thus avoid missing the first half of the following game.

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To initiate the process, a conference will submit a request to the NCAA national coordinator of officials to review video of the play. If the coordinator of officials rules the call to have been obviously incorrect, it would be overturned, and the player would be cleared to play in the first half of the next game.

The committee also instituted a review process for teams accused of faking injuries to stop the clock and banned blocking below the waist outside the tackle box on scrimmage plays.

If a team is judged to have faked injuries to stop the clock, punishment would be up to a school’s conference.

Additionally, a runner who fakes a slide to simulate giving himself up will be ruled down at the spot, and defensive holding will always carry an automatic first down along with a 10-yard penalty.

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