SEC’s Top Official Prepares for Enforcing New Targeting Rule

Steve Shaw, the Southeastern Conference’s Supervisor of Officials, took the stage last week to address the league’s new targeting rule, which is designed to reduce concussions. In short, the rule calls for drastic consequences (up to and including ejections) if a defensive player launches his body or uses his elbows or forearms to “target” the head of a defenseless player.

Shaw, who called it “the most significant change I have seen in my career,” seems to welcome the rule.

“Playing time is a motivator to our players and we think will have a pretty significant impact,” said Shaw. “What I hope with this is that this gets through to the players, they change their behavior.”

New technology will be a factor as a replay official will automatically review the play if an official has ejected a player.

One columnist suggested the SEC was practicing risk management.

“With a class-action law suit on concussions against the NFL working its way through the court system, college football officials know they have to be proactive on this subject,” wrote Tony Barnhart of “Someday they may have to sit in a court of law and be asked the following question: ‘Did you do everything you could to make the game as safe as possible?’”

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