Stanford's Shaw wants clarification on helmet-to-helmet rule

Richard Mackson / USA TODAY Sports

Stanford receiver Francis Owusu will miss Friday's game against Washington with a concussion, and David Shaw wants some clarification as to why UCLA's Tahaan Goodman wasn't penalized for the hit.

Shaw sent the tape in to the Pac-12 for some feedback on the play.

"I know that Francis Owusu was not technically a 'defenseless player,'" Shaw told David Lombardi of ESPN. "But knowing the era we're in - where we're in the mode of trying to make this game safer, trying to take helmet hits out of the game, and trying to protect the players who play this wonderful, physical sport - in the spirit of where we are in the football world right now, you should throw a flag. It should be a penalty. The initial contact was helmet to helmet."

The Cardinal head coach added that the rule could be misinterpreted, as it states that only hitting with the crown of your helmet is a penalty.

"To me, the letter of the law is immaterial," Shaw said. "If you have contact on one helmet to another helmet, that should be a penalty. We should go back and reword our rulings, go back and reteach our officials and our replay officials. We're trying to take care of these young men. Plays like this should be penalized so that they stop happening. If we don't penalize them, they will continue to happen.

"There is language (in the rulebook) that obviously needs to be amended, preferably sooner than later. And I think you'll get relatively unanimous support for such language ... The defense for that not being a penalty - I can't imagine what (else) it really could be, rationally."

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Stanford's Shaw wants clarification on helmet-to-helmet rule
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