Manny Diaz proposes changes to targeting rule like NBA flagrant fouls

Oct 10, 2020; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2020; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football team lost two players to targeting that head coach Manny Diaz questioned the intent of the rule and suggested a change similar to the NBA flagrant foul rule.

The targeting rule in college football has become to a point that it is ambiguous and puts referees in a tough position. Miami lost safety Amari Carter and striker Keontra Smith who Hurricanes head coach Manny Diaz acknowledged the calls on the field were mostly correct but the rule needs to be reexamined.

Manny Diaz is a huge Miami Heat fan and proposed that college football adopt a targeting rule in college football similar to the NBA rule for flagrant fouls. The flagrant one foul in the NBA is defined as “Unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent.” A flagrant one call results in an ejection.

A Flagrant Foul two is defined as “Unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent.” The Smith targeting call would completely fit the flagrant two as he led with his helmet but into the stomach of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Flagrant two would be a personal foul without ejection.

The call on Carter was more ambiguous, but Diaz felt that Carter was pushed into Lawrence and that if wanted to could have inflicted a much bigger hit. Diaz proposed college football adopt the flagrant foul rule for targeting after the game and discussed the plays involving Carter and Smith.

"“How many times have I said it in this setting, how difficult is it to officiate the targeting? I have never seen someone hit someone in the stomach and have that called for targeting. You know, it’s becoming very difficult to hit a quarterback now.[Amari Carter], I thought it was very difficult on his because I do think he was being pushed from behind and I think Amari was trying to miss Trevor Lawrence. Amari is not trying to miss you, it’s going to be a big hit. I have said over and over again, I do think there should be a way to have intent.Like a flagrant one and a flagrant two. The officials on the field, it’s out of their hands…But the one on [Keontra Smith], I struggle to think of another one that I have seen similar where you hit a guy and where his helmet was and obviously we teach all of our guys to keep their eyes up.I got to get a closer look, but they called it and obviously the depth, our secondary missing [Gurvan Hall] in the first half and you got to stick Brian Balom, a true freshman, in there in Death Valley. I think Brian has a bright future, but that was baptism by fire for a couple of drives when he was in there in the second quarter.”"

The ejection of Carter forced Miami to play true freshman Brian Balom. Miami was already missing starting safety Gurvan Hall for the first half because of his own targeting call against Florida State in the Hurricanes previous game two weeks ago. Carter will be back next week for the entire game against Pittsburgh.

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Because he was ejected in the first half, Carter only missed the remainder of the Clemson game. Smith was ejected in the third quarter and will miss the first half of the game against Pittsburgh. Gilbert Frierson who splits time at striker with Smith will likely receive the majority of the snaps against the Panthers.