Pac-12 commissioner says obvious targeting penalty in USC-Washington State game was 'very, very close'
Nobody knows how to define targeting. And if anyone tells you they know how to interpret the rule, they’re basically lying to your face.
Sorry, I’m just calling it like I see it.
It’s become crystal clear that the folks around college football are as much in the dark about targeting as the rest of us. And it became so obvious after Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott weighed in on what appeared to be a clear targeting violation in last week’s USC-Washington State game.
Late in last week’s game, USC linebacker Porter Gustin launched into Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew, making clear helmet-to-helmet contact. The hit wasn’t ruled as targeting on the field.
Here’s a look at the play. Players have been ejected for much less:
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Porter Gustin missed the 1st half tonight due to targeting in the last game… and now he's doing this?? pic.twitter.com/RMym4s5rZA
— CFB Gif'er (@CFBgifer) September 22, 2018
It’s bad enough that the officials missed the clear call. What’s even worse, though, is that Scott agreed that the hit Gustin laid on Minshew wasn’t a targeting penalty.
Here’s what Scott told the Associated Press about the play and ruling.
“So you can certainly assume that play got a lot of looks, not just from the replay booth at the stadium, but we’ve got our command center back in San Francisco with our head of officiating and a bunch of experienced replay guys, who absolutely would have looked at that play,” Scott said said.
He said it also was looked at afterward and it was not determined to be targeting.
“As you know, in any given game there are a lot of close calls, and this was a very, very close one. No doubt about it,” Scott said.
In the statement, Scott appears to be defending the Pac-12 officiating crew. While that’s all well-and-good, sometimes you just have to call it like you see it.
If that wasn’t a clear targeting penalty, then how can anyone enforce the rule?