Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley thinks NCAA should make changes to targeting rule

Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said he would like to see some changes made to the targeting rule after receiver CeeDee Lamb’s ejection a few weeks ago.

Riley said on the Big 12 coaches teleconference Monday that there is a problem with the review process for targeting penalties. After a player gets called for targeting, the play is immediately reviewed. But officials need irrefutable video evidence that there was no foul in order to rescind the penalty.

Riley said that’s a problem because officials generally err on the side of throwing the flag if they’re not sure whether a hit qualifies as targeting.

“The problem to me with targeting is the officials have been instructed if anything is even close to targeting, even if they don’t really totally think it is a foul, but if it’s even close, they want to go ahead and throw the flag so it can get reviewed,” Riley said. “But then within the review system, we review it like every other play.”

Riley would reverse the review policy, requiring irrefutable video evidence in order to uphold an ejection for targeting.

“I think for such a strong penalty, it should be clear-cut, 100 percent confirmed up top before we’re going to throw somebody out of the game,” Riley said.

Lamb was ejected for targeting in the first half of Oklahoma’s game against Tulane in Week 3. Lamb was called for the foul after a block on a Tulane player where he led with his shoulder and hit the player in the chest. According to the NCAA rulebook, targeting includes leading with the crown of the helmet and “forcible contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent.”

Big 12 officials said after the game that the targeting rule was applied correctly. Riley said the following week that he wanted a better explanation from the Big 12 for why the call was upheld after review.

Riley said he thinks the targeting rule is a good change to the sport. His biggest issue is just in how it’s applied.

“I think we’ve taken some positive steps over the years with it,” Riley said. “I think it’s a good rule. I think it’s an important rule.”

The post Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley thinks NCAA should make changes to targeting rule appeared first on Diehards.

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