Despite the best intentions of the NCAA, the "targeting rule" implemented to increase player safety continued to generate controversy with the dubious ejection of Georgia defensive lineman Ray Drew on Saturday against Vanderbilt.
During the second quarter, Drew broke through Vanderbilt's offensive line and knocked down quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels just after he threw a pass. The contact was late and their helmets may have touched but Drew had slowed and any helmet-to-helmet contact was minimal. Still, the officials ejected Drew for targeting, even after a review, officials ejected Drew for targeting.
The NCAA announced changes in enforcing the targeting rules in July 2013. The rule is intended to increase player "requires that players who target and contact defenseless opponents above the shoulders will be ejected," per NCAA.com. If the ejection occurs in the first half, the player must sit out for the rest of the game. If it occurs in the second half, the player must miss the rest of the half and the first half of the next game.
Courtesy of former NFL Vice President of Officiating Mike Pereira, here is the text of the targeting rule:
No player shall target and initiate contact vs. opponent with the crown of his helmet.
No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent.
It didn't seem like many on Twitter believed Drew violated the rule.
The targeting ejection on #UGA DL Ray Drew THAT WAS CONFIRMED just now might've been the worst call I've seen this year.
— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) October 19, 2013
Holy crap. ejection upheld. Awful call
— Mark Schlabach (@Mark_Schlabach) October 19, 2013
— Gregg Doyel (@GreggDoyelCBS) October 19, 2013
I understand need for tougher rules to prevent head injuries in football. But that ejection of UGA's Ray Drew was fairly awful call.
— Jeff Schultz (@JeffSchultzAJC) October 19, 2013
— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) October 19, 2013
Now THAT is a horrible targeting call. Ray Drew of Georgia ejected for hit on Carta-Samuels. I'm not positive he even made contact w/head.
— Steve Layman (@SteveLayman) October 19, 2013