No doubt, you’ve seen the hit before — South
Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney at the Outback Bowl,
decleating Michigan running back Vincent Smith so violently that
you couldn’t help but wonder if Smith’s head flew off
with his helmet.
In case you haven’t — side note: where have you been? — here’s it is:
Now that hit up there? That warrants a targeting penalty,
according to ACC officiating supervisor Doug Rhoads, who said as
much at ACC media days on Monday. And starting this season, that
targeting penalty would result in an ejection from the game.
Naturally, the assertion that Clowney’s hit was
ejection-worthy has college football fans up in arms — and for
good reason. Many feel as though ramping up the enforcement of such
rules is just the latest contribution to the softening of tackle
And while I certainly appreciate the NCAA and NFL’s
efforts to promote player safety, keeping in mind the concerns over
head injuries, I, too, have a hard time convincing myself that a
tackle like Clowney’s is one that warrants an ejection.
Clowney’s split-second, instinctive, unpremeditated, and
outstanding move can be characterized as a football play. An
ejection? It shouldn’t even be a penalty. And I’m not
the only one who feels that way:
There’s no way #clowneyhit
is illegal. Take it from a guy who broke his neck
LeGrand understands the dangers of football, and every day is a
reminder of the risks players take when they step on the field.
There’s nothing wrong with taking steps to ensure the safety
of players, but targeting aggressive play like that of Clowney as
“targeting” is the wrong approach to take.
Now, for some links:
• Can it get any worse for Aaron Hernandez? Yes, it can.