Daily Buzz: Clowney rule a joke, LeGrand says

BY Sam Gardner • July 24, 2013

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 football.

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:

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.

• Phil Mickelson's reward for winning the British Open? A 61 percent tax rate on his winnings.

• After running at least a mile every day for 16,437 days, Mark Covert won't be running on Wednesday. It'll be his first day off from running since 1968.

• Here is a lightning strike scaring the hell out of Rangers FC:

• Tennessee Titans players delivered season tickets to servicemen and women.

• Go behind the scenes on Louisville basketball's trip to the White House on Tuesday.

• Ian Kinsler rips Ryan Braun for lying, PED suspension.

• ESPN ranked Kent Bazemore the 499th best player in basketball, and it seems the summer league standout hasn’t forgotten it:

• Reds third base coach Mark Berry has returned to the field after throat cancer treatment.

• Roger Federer was presented with a cow at a Swiss tennis tournament.

• Former NFL running back Larry Johnson pleads no contest to domestic violence charges, gets probation.

• Charles Barkley handed out a bunch of money at a golf tournament last week:

• Florida Gators coach Will Muschamp stands by his suspension of linebacker Antonio Morrison, even after charges were dropped.

• Muschamp also took another swipe at Urban Meyer, referring to himself as a Brady Hoke fan.

• If the University of Buffalo's new football uniforms are any indication, the school would very much like to remind you that it is in New York.

• Chris Kluwe solves a punting mystery for his fans:

• Morris Claiborne recalls his famous Wonderlic test.

• If you haven't already, check out the Detroit Free-Press' investigative report on the women's basketball scandal at Oakland University in Michigan.

• Bengals boss Mike Brown weighs in on the concussion debate.

• Speaking of violent hits, here’s an Australian rules football reporter trying to interview a player moments after the player was probably concussed:

• Former NFL star Richard Harvey has an interesting post-football career, teaching prospects the basics of the recruiting process.

• Here's a great, long feature on the constantly growing sport of ultimate frisbee.

• The enigma that was wideout George Sauer Jr. talks about the Super Bowl Jets.

• Miguel Cabrera really wants you to eat this cookie:

• Karl Malone is still going strong at 50 years young.

• Wife tells man to sell 50 years worth of Yankees memorabilia.

• One Twitter user seems to have an unhealthy obsession with 17-year-old gymnast McKayla Maroney.

• The Mets celebrated Star Wars night at Citi Field:

• Jimmy Butler tried to explain his obscene shirt to his Twitter followers.

• Colin Kaepernick has a pretty rad sneaker collection: