Targeting may very well be the hot button issue in college football this season, and in no conference has it been more of a source of debate than in the Pac-12.
The conference and its officials have been under fire at various times throughout the year for questionable targeting calls and/or no calls.
The most famous of those was the Porter Gustin no call during the USC-Washington State game.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott commented on that hit and the subsequent ruling afterward, telling the Associated Press "you can certainly assume that play got a lot of looks, not just from the replay booth at the stadium, but we've got our command center back in San Francisco with our head of officiating and a bunch of experienced replay guys, who absolutely would have looked at that play… As you know, in any given game there are a lot of close calls, and this was a very, very close one. No doubt about it.”
The commissioner’s statement appeared to put the issue to bed, despite the protestations of many.
As it turns out, it was only the beginning.
Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel reported late Wednesday night that there was significantly more to the story.
In addition to the Gustin no call, Pac-12 officials also failed to call targeting against Washington State linebacker Logan Tago for his helmet-to-helmet hit on the Trojans' freshman quarterback J.T. Daniels.
Per Thamel, “on the final play of the third quarter of Washington State’s game at USC on Sept. 21, Trojan quarterback JT Daniels scrambled and ducked to a knee. After he’d established himself as down, Washington State linebacker Logan Tago dove at him headfirst and initiated clear helmet-to-helmet contact. The play drew both a flag for roughing the passer and a review for targeting.
“It was a clear enough call that both the in-stadium replay officials and the replay officials in the Pac-12’s command center in San Francisco ruled the play as a targeting penalty, according to an internal replay report obtained by Yahoo Sports. This call would have ejected Tago from the game. An independent veteran official who viewed the play also told Yahoo Sports it was “clear targeting.”
“Targeting wasn’t called and Tago stayed in the game. The replay report obtained by Yahoo Sports states that “unfortunately a third party did not agree” with the call. That “third party” was Pac-12 general counsel and senior vice president of business affairs Woodie Dixon, Yahoo Sports sources have confirmed.”
Thamel went on to say that Dixon “oversees football for the conference but is not a formally trained official. Dixon telephoned in his opinion that the play wasn’t targeting, sources said. According to the report, his opinion overruled both the trained officials in the stadium replay booth and in the league’s command center.”
And with that, the Pac-12’s issues with targeting seem much more of an institutional failing and less the result of inept officiating.
Another return for Jimmermania?
Jay Yeomans of JMoneySports had much to say regarding Jimmer Fredette and the show he put on against the Houston Rockets Tuesday night.
While his team, the Shanghai Sharks, were just another in a long line of the sacrificial lambs of the NBA preseason — the Sharks fell to the Rockets by a score of 128-86 — Fredette had himself quite the individual performance.
Per Yeomans, “Fredette carried the Sharks on the offensive end with a game-high 41 points on 16-for-40 shooting from the field, including 4-for-11 from 3-point range and a perfect 5-for-5 from the foul line. The former BYU star also just missed out on a double-double, as he collected nine rebounds to go along with three assists and a pair of steals in 48 minutes of work.”
KSL sports anchor Jeremiah Jensen tweeted out video of the performance.
Does Jimmer’s outing mean anything?
Yeomans’ certainly thinks so.43 comments on this story
“While the outcome was far from ideal (or unexpected), for Fredette and the Sharks, the former NCAA national player of the year clearly showed that he has what it takes to score against the best competition in the world. And while that might not mean much at this point in the season, it may open up some NBA doors for him once the Chinese League season comes to an end.”
Top-ranked and unbeaten BYU relies on talent, balance, experience (Volleyballmag.com)
Hawaii Game Eight: First Look at BYU Cougars (247Sports)
A two-minute video to brighten your morning, courtesy of Sports Illustrated