Shaw: Other new rule is defender cannot hit a passer in a passing position at or below the knee.
— Zac Ellis (@ZacEllis) July 16, 2014
Wednesday morning, SEC head of officials Steve Shaw — a highly competent referee for many years in the conference — gave a presentation at SEC Media Days on new rules and points of emphasis for the coming season. The big newsmakers both concerned college football’s continued attempts to promote player safety. The sensible rule change adopted by the sport, as relayed by Shaw on Wednesday, is that if replay concludes a player did not commit a targeting violation, the 15-yard penalty against the player will be revoked. Last season, the 15-yard penalty remained in place even if an ejection for targeting was revoked.
On the other hand, a new “can of worms” rule was introduced, as shown in the above tweet. Yes, there is now a “strike zone” for defensive players when trying to hit a quarterback. If you hit at or below the knees, you’re getting flagged. You can’t deliver a headshot, of course. There’s your low-to-high strike zone. Nothing was said about the outside or inside corners, but you get the idea: This is going to be a major point of contention in the coming season.