Nick Saban thinks changes need to be made to targeting rule

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

Saban would like to see a minor change to the new targeting rules
Nick Saban would like to see a minor change to the new targeting rules. (USATSI)

On Saturday Alabama safety Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix was called for targeting and ejected from the game. Upon review the officials in the game deemed that Clinton-Dix was going for the ball and not targeting the Texas A&M player. His ejection was then overruled.

However, the 15-yard penalty that came with it stood, as per the rules. And while Alabama coach Nick Saban agrees with the new targeting rules, he did say after the game that he'd like to see that part changed.

"Personally, on the rule itself, if you can review a play to say a guy should be ejected or not be ejected, to me, you should be able to review if it was a penalty or not a penalty," Saban said on Monday. "That's not what the rule is. You asked me my opinion. I'm giving you my opinion."

And I have to agree with Saban here.

On a hit like Clinton-Dix's, in which it was obvious that he was going after the ball and not the opposing player -- in fact, Clinton-Dix's shoulder made contact before anything else -- it's not just the ejection that should be overturned. The penalty should be overturned too.

Now, granted, it's hard to judge intent. There will be some ejections overturned where an official can't know what the player's intent was and the 15-yard penalty should stand. However, in this case Clinton-Dix did nothing wrong and even after officials realized it Alabama was still penalized for it.

That's just not right.

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