Why is Big 12 penalizing 'horns down' gesture in football? Internet says 'Texas has gone soft'

Greg Burks said that players will be assessed a foul if they direct a 'Horns Down' sign at a player on the Texas Longhorns


                            Why is Big 12 penalizing 'horns down' gesture in football? Internet says 'Texas has gone soft'
Ahead of the games, the officiating coordinator for the Big 12, Greg Burks addressed whether players will be penalized for using the “Horns Down” gesture this season (Image used for representation: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The 'horns down' gesture in college football has been controversial for the past two years after the Big 12 decided to penalize the teams using it during the game. It is one of the most popular taunts in the game and a topic of debate for some time now. The officiating crews in the Big 12 are making sure that the said gesture is used in the right way this year.

Ahead of the games, the officiating coordinator for the Big 12, Greg Burks addressed whether players will be penalized for using the “Horns Down” gesture this season. Burks said that players will be assessed a foul if they direct a "Horns Down" sign at a player on the Texas Longhorns. He said, "If you do a Horns Down to a Texas player as an opponent, that’s going to be a foul."

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Although Burks didn't give a proper closure on the topic as it's still unclear if players are allowed to throw the sign with their teammates or in front of a cheering section. However, back in 2019, Burks dropped some hints as to how this taunt will be officiated. "The answer I’ll give you is that it depends. It’s like any unsportsmanlike act. If somebody scores quickly, turns to their cheering section and moves on, we’re probably not going to react to that. If they happen to turn to the other crowd or the other bench or another player, it would be like any unsportsmanlike act. It’s a hot topic. I know people want us to be very definitive on that, but it’s like almost any touchdown celebration. Is it directed at an opponent or is it just a celebration with a teammate?" he said.

Justin Martinez tweeted Burks' statement which started a debate on the social media platform about the decision. "Big 12 officiating coordinator Greg Burks was asked about possible penalties for players using the Horns Down gesture. He said this: "If you do a Horns Down to a Texas player as an opponent, that's going to be a foul," he wrote.



 

'Most Texas fans are cool with the horns down'

Some of the fans seemed unfazed by the decision and posted tweets like, "Most Texas fans are cool with the horns down. It's a rivalry. If you don't want OU to do them, beat them. It's like the friendliest form of disrespect, it's just fun," another fan wrote, "I don't mind Horns Down and have been begging for Texas fans to care less about it for years." Another said, "Wow. Texas has gone way to soft. That’s stupid."



 



 



 

However, some seemed to 'disagree' with the 'horns down' gesture being 'penalized'. One user tweeted, "So I am assuming if a Texas player throws the Hook Em Horns at an opposing player that will be a foul as well." Another wrote, "But horns up is cool?" One fan said, "I am offended by texas using horns up gesture. Please ensure they are penalized every time they use it." Another commented, "So as long as you’re not looking at the texas players you can do the horns down?"



 



 



 



 

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