The unfortunate reality of being an official in sports is that it’s impossible to be perfect. Refereeing controversy is a part of the game and it has been for decades. However, with the introduction of video replay and other technology, spectators are becoming most restless. LSU Football has had its fair share of on-field debacles over the years, but few have come at the hands of an officiating blunder. The Tigers’ biggest issue of the last two decades was with the BCS format.
If you stop to think about it, LSU is responsible for a couple of major changes throughout college football over the years. The Tigers’ gripes about Alabama making the 2012 National Championship Game were a driving factor in the introduction of the College Football Playoff. Further, their seven-overtime game against Texas A&M saw the NCAA quickly amend overtime rules to speed up the decision. For this reason alone, it’s surprising that a controversial incident from LSU’s recent past did not lead to a quicker rule change.
LSU Football fans will love the new NCAAF rule changes for the 2022 season
In a press release sent out on Thursday morning, the National Football Foundation and College Football Officiating jointly released a series of rule changes for the upcoming season. The first amendment made to the regulations of the game is one that will particularly interest the Tigers fans. While it may bring back painful memories for the LSU faithful, it’s a relief to finally see this glaring issue in the game being dealt with after so many years.
The “Targeting Carryover Appeals Process” rule states:
"“In games that have instant replay, when a targeting foul occurs in the second half, the carryover penalty (of sitting out the first half of that player’s next game) will be eligible for further appeal. The process will begin with a conference submitting a request to the NCAA national coordinator of officials, who would review video of the play. If it is obvious that a player was incorrectly penalized for targeting, the call would be overturned, and the player would be cleared to play in the first half of the next game.”"
One name should immediately come to mind upon reading this rule change: Devin White.
The Tigers caused a stir back in 2018 when their superstar linebacker was suspended for one half for a fluke targeting call against Mississippi State. Unfortunately, there was no appeals process to overturn the ludicrous decision at the time, even though everyone and their mothers knew it wasn’t contact to the head. LSU fans went as far as to purchase “#FreeDevinWhite” billboards outside the SEC offices in Birmingham, Alabama out of pure outrage.
White went on to miss the first half of the season’s biggest game against the Crimson Tide. Death Valley came to life upon his return to the field in the second half, but that’s something the offense could not replicate on the night. The Tigers went on to lose the game 29-0.
In the end, White’s suspension obviously didn’t do much to impact the outcome of the game, but it was the principle of the situation that angered fans. It’s a relief to finally see this misguided regulation amended by the NCAA after so many years.