By RUSTY MILLER | Associated Press
COLUMBUS -- The key word when it comes to football rules this fall -- one fans will hear again and again -- is "targeting."
In the parlance of the NCAA, that describes players who hit a defenseless player above the shoulders. Do it, and you'll be ejected, and your team gets a 15-yard penalty.
Spectators may love a crunching hit, but the ruling bodies of the game at all levels are putting extra emphasis on safety in this current environment where concussions have undergone particular scrutiny.
Coaches are also putting high hits under the microscope.
"We're going to have an official come in and discuss the new rule on the targeting of players and ejections," Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. "We had one in practice already -- the player would have gotten thrown out of the game, the official told me. I just want to make sure we're on the same page."
Every Ohio State player has had an instructional video sent to his iPad about the safety of tackling and avoiding dangerous hits. It's talked about in meetings, practices and huddles and will undoubtedly be in the headlines when the games start to count.
"That's a game-changer," Meyer said. "That's not just the next new rule. That's a big one."
The Buckeyes' co-defensive coordinator, Everett Withers, conceded there are still problems figuring out just exactly what a targeted hit is.
All ejections under the new rule are reviewable through video replay.
videos/0ap2000000227096/2013-NFL-rule-changes ; http://www.nfhs.org/Football/
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