Clowney’s Hit On Michigan’s Smith Might Be Deemed Illegal Under New Rules

By Ashley Dunkak

DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – The highlight-reel, split-second smash of South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney into Michigan’s Vincent Smith during the 2012 Outback Bowl might have been grounds for ejection under new targeting rules that will go into effect this season.

During recent conference media days, various officials said Clowney’s hit will be illegal under the new guidelines. ACC officiating supervisor Doug Rhoads said he would have thrown the flag, according to

Fox Sports officiating consultant Mike Pereira said at Big 12 media day that the plan is to penalize if there is any question and reviewed the play to give his opinion on what would likely be the in-game verdict.

“Remember what you’re dealing with in targeting. It’s the crown of the head. Not simply the helmet, but the crown of your head. Not the forehead. You’re looking for a guy hitting who is looking at the ground.”

“Boy …”

“If I’m an official, based on ‘when in doubt,’ he’s out. He’s ejected. And when that goes to replay there’s no way they overturn it. There’s a great potential that hit causes an ejection this year.”

Big 12 coordinator of officials Walt Anderson told ESPN that the four areas that will result in a targeting penalty are leaving one’s feet,  hitting upward with the helmet, striking the head, neck or crown of helmet, and leading with the top of the helmet. Anderson said intent would also be considered.


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