Targeting has long been the most controversial penalty in college football. And one Michigan assistant coach believes it’s time to reassess the rule to help defenders.

Secondary and special teams coach Mike Zordich believes that enforcing targeting is important for the safety of the game, but he also believes the enforcement of the penalty needs to be reevaluated. His comments come just a few days after safety Josh Metellus was ejected for targeting early in Michigan’s game against Notre Dame.

“I think the way (targeting is) being called probably needs to be looked at, as well as we’ve got to police, certainly, and not let our players do it,” Zordich told “But I think the way it’s being called has to be looked at too.”

The targeting rule has been in effect for 10 years in the college game and all helmet-to-helmet contact is reviewed to determine whether a player should be ejected. In Metellus’ case, the contact he made on an Irish receiver cost him most of the season opener.

“We watch film on things of that nature to remind the guys of those hits, those helmet-to-helmet (hits),” he said. “Was it helmet to helmet? I don’t know. Looked like a shoulder to me. You’ve got to be smart. The play was made. Just play the ball in the air rather than try to drop the shoulder on a guy.”

The clarity and enforcement of the targeting rule has been an issue among everyone involved with college football; players, coaches, officials, leagues and fans. A lack of consistency and understanding of the rule has been an issue over the years.

Zordich isn’t alone in his opinion, as many other players, coaches and fans believe the targeting rule needs to get a re-examination.