Freshman cornerback Josh Jenkins was ejected Army’s 35-16 win over Louisiana Tech with 7:07 left in the third quarter under the NCAA’s new penalty against the targeting defenseless players.
Jenkins appeared to hit Louisiana Tech wide receiver Andrew Guillot shoulder to shoulder after a pass was tipped by Army safety Hayden Pierce.
Rule 9-1-4 says, “No player shall target and initiate contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, fist, elbow or shoulder. When in question, it is a foul.”
The play was reviewed and the call was upheld.
Mike Pereira of Fox Sports, the officiating guru, didn’t think Jenkins should have been thrown out.
“If I was in the replay booth, I would not eject him because I do think it’s more shoulder to shoulder before it gets to the head or neck area ,” said Pereira during the Fox Sports 1 telecast. “To me, this is the type of thing where they ought not to try to uphold the ejection when it’s so marginal like this. Is it shoulder to the head or neck area? I think when you look at this (the replay), it’s pretty questionable. I’d really like to see them lean toward not ejecting players in replay and keep them in the game.”
Army coach Rich Ellerson disagrees.
“They reviewed it and they still feel like it was a good call,” Ellerson said. “As coaches and officials, the world of college football is not going to tolerate targeting, just not going to do it. If it wasn’t the right call, he would have been reinstated. They looked at it and they said no he needs to have his (butt) thrown out of there so therefore, he does.”
Under NCAA rules, Jenkins must also sit out the first half of Army’s next game at Boston College Saturday.
“We teach playing the football and to attack the football and he wasn’t attacking the football,” Ellerson said. “He’s not doing what we teach. It hurt us tonight and it will follow us into next week. That’s a great lesson for everybody. You don’t do that.”
Junior Marques Avery, who started five games last season, replaced Jenkins.
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