The Gophers have had six players ejected for targeting this season, and the team has strongly disagreed with three of those calls.
Coach Tracy Claeys has spoken of the need for the NCAA to address "unavoidable" targeting penalties, where the ball carrier makes it almost impossible for the defender to avoid a penalty. On Tuesday, Claeys brought up the idea of incorporating the NBA Flagrant 1 and Flagrant 2 foul rule, where the former category would be a penalty and the latter category would be an ejection.
Gophers defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel agrees. Here's a look at the targeting penalties with thoughts from Sawvel:
* Tai’yon Devers (Sept. 1 vs. Oregon State)
Sawvel: “That’s targeting. He gets ejected. Understand.”
* Cody Poock (Sept. 1 vs. Oregon State, video unavailable)
Sawvel: “Probably he gets ejected. OK.”
* Jon Celestin (Sept. 1 vs. Oregon State)
Sawvel: “You hit a late-slide quarterback. To me, that’s a bunch of crap. That’s what that is because in the NFL. Yeah, you can’t hit Tom Brady but everybody knows that Tom Brady is going to slide. In college these guys run for 650, 700 or a thousand yards a year — quarterback. You don’t know if that guy is going to slide or keep running. How is he defenseless? I don’t understand that.
* Jack Lynn (Oct. 22 vs. Rutgers)
(Sawvel gave a look that he clearly disagreed with that one, too. The Gophers felt this one was unavoidable, and it kept Lynn from playing the first half at Illinois.)
* Duke McGhee (Oct. 29 at Illinois)
Sawvel: “Duke’s is unfortunate, but I could see the letter of the law and that regard.”
* Nick Rallis (last Saturday vs. Purdue)
Sawvel: “First thing he came to me right away and he said, ‘I put my head down to avoid hitting him head to head. I don’t. I just -- as a coach, I feel bad in one sense.
“… You can bring in any official in the country and I will make the argument that that’s not targeting more than the fact that I’m going to play shooting guard for the Cavs this week. It’s not even close.
“Then we are starting to eject guys for games and take them out of the next game for that kind of play is just — I mean. Then you don’t know what to tell the kid. I don’t know what to tell you.”