With Texas headed to the SEC in 2024, the Coordinator of SEC OfficialsJohn McDade said the “Horns Down” signal will not be an automatic penalty when the Longhorns join the conference.
Per McDaid, the gesture, which is used as a taunt by opposing fans and players, will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
“Unsportsmanlike conduct needs to fit into one of three categories: Is it taunting an opponent? Is it cheating the game? Is it otherwise compromising our ability to manage the game? There’s a difference between a player making a direct signal to an opponent’s face, as opposed to doing it to teammates,” One Touchdown Network told the media after celebrating Media Day.
“To top it all off, not every incident is an act of unsportsmanlike conduct.”
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey wears formal attire during media day honoring Mike Leach
McDaid said the same rules would apply to other specific team signals, such as “Gator Chomp” and the “Landshark” signal.
The “Horns Down” gesture has been the subject of controversy over the years because Big 12 An unsportsmanlike penalty is often imposed on opposing players who flash the sign during games.
Big 12 Director of Officiating Greg Burks addressed last year’s sign. Big 12 Media DaySaying that it will be a judgment call by the authorities.
“Let me be very clear with ‘Horn Down,'” Burks said in July 2022, according to ESPN. “I do not own the symbol.” This symbol is like all other symbols. It’s when you do it, who you do it with, and how you do it.”
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Last season, Alabama head coach Nick Saban was visibly upset with one of his players after a Week 2 win over Texas.
As Saban ran toward midfield to shake the Texas head coach’s hand. Steve SarkisianThe seven-time national champion was caught on camera yelling at his players.
Saban was telling a player to stop flashing the “Horns Down” sign after a victory.
“I told my players, ‘We’re not doing it,'” Saban said on his weekly radio show “Horns Down” gesture. “Don’t do it. It’s not cool. We don’t need to spoil the other team’s traditions. Just play.”
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“It’s the same in everything you do,” Saban continued. “You make choices and decisions, whether it’s in school, as a person, as an athlete. And whenever you think you’re not doing the right thing, and most people who don’t do the right thing know before they do it, they do it anyway. So, don’t do it. We need to have that as a motto. And maybe discipline helps.”
Texas and Alabama meet in Week 2 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 2023 college football season.