LSU football’s game against Auburn drew a ruckus crowd at Jordan-Hare Stadium for the 2022 Tiger Bowl. However, the crowd quickly fell silent as Tigers defensive back Sevyn Banks was injured on the opening kickoff. Banks’ head made contact with the Auburn return man’s side and the players on the field immediately called for trainers to come out onto the field.
Banks laid motionless on the field for a few moments in what was truly a scary scene at Pat Dye Field. The Ohio State transfer was subsequently stretchered off on a cart and immediately taken to a nearby hospital. Prayers from around the college football world flooded in for the injured LSU player. Nevertheless, the SEC officiating crew couldn’t seem to care less.
LSU football: Injury to Sevyn Banks treated disrespectfully by officials
Banks was still down on the field with trainers huddling around him when the officials announced the play was under review for targeting. This was met with scorn from the fans inside the stadium, all of whom realized that something much bigger than football was happening at that moment in time.
As if that wasn’t classless enough by the officials, they went on to confirm and explain the call as Banks was being taken off on a cart. As the announcement was broadcast across Jordan-Hare Stadium via the loudspeakers, it was drowned out by boos from both fanbases.
While targeting is usually a pivotal penalty in games, this is the one instance it needs to be ignored. Nobody on the field was calling for it. Truth be told, nobody was even concerned with the game as a whole, never mind 15 yards. It was obvious that Banks would not be returning for the contest. Something much bigger was happening on the field—a possible life-altering event for this young student-athlete—not that the SEC officiating crew seemed to care.
There was no flag on the field either, which means the call came from upstairs.
The argument can be made that injuries cannot prevent penalties to be called. This opinion would not fall on deaf ears, it’s a valid statement. Nevertheless, there are far better ways to go about announcing a targeting call in that tragic moment. There was a young man lying on the ground motionless, but there were some who were more concerned with a 15-yard call against him.
For once, there are no gripes with the way the game was officiated overall. Instead, those enforcing the rules of the game need to focus on being better human beings. The way the targeting call was handled on the opening kickoff was an inexplicable and pathetic misstep from the SEC referees. Please, do better next time and think of the human beings’ lives who are being impacted, rather than a silly flag being thrown on the field.