The Oregon State football team will be without Bright Ugwoegbu for the first half of Saturday's game at Arizona.
Cornerback Kyle White and Ugwoegbu were both ejected for targeting during the Beavers' loss at California.
OSU interim coach Cory Hall was asked if the penalty should be revised into different levels such as the flagrant 1 and flagrant 2 fouls in the NBA.
As it stands now, a player is ejected from the game for targeting and sidelined for the first half of the next game if the penalty occurs in the second half.
"That's something that probably should be on the table for discussion because as we were waiting for those decisions to be made, it's is that just a 15-yard penalty or is that a 15-yard ejection or are they all just 15 yards and an ejection?," Hall said. "And then, how are we defining it? Because one was more violent than the other. Were you trying to protect the defender? Because at the end of the day, how he led with the (helmet), he was putting his own health at risk."
The Ugwoegbu ejection was particularly tough because it was a very quick, bang-bang play and was not flagged by the officials.
Hall pointed out that players now have to make split-second decisions during high-speed action.
"It's very, very hard for an athlete to make a competitive play full speed — you're making a full-speed decision and saying, 'oh, I'm not going to hit you' with seconds to think about it," Hall said.
Hall said NFL players have been dealing with a similar situation and that he understands that the penalty is in place to protect the athletes.
"And I was telling someone the other day, that hits home with me a lot more than people know, just given my background," he said. "I've seen things happen to players right in front of my face. So when you're playing with head trauma or trying to figure out how to best protect the well-being of football players, for me, it hits home in a different way."
The rule has an effect on coaching staffs as well. They have to be able to keep the backups ready to take the field at a moment's notice.
Sometimes that can be in place of a starting quarterback or other key player.
"You look at the incident that happened with Kyle White — Omar (Hicks-Onu), who's never played a down at corner, had to finish the game at corner. And I wouldn't even say finish, he played the majority of the game," Hall said.
"You lose one of better players on your team, obviously it's going to have a heavy impact on the way you call plays and it's going to have a heavy impact on your ability to match up in certain scenarios. But at the end of the day, it's a part of the game."
Hall played safety for Fresno State and in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals and Atlanta Falcons.
He developed a reputation as a fierce hitter who made receivers pay for catches over the middle.
"To be honest with you, I probably would have been ejected every game," Hall said with a laugh. "Eventually I would have had to learn."
Senior inside linebacker Manase Hungalu was named the Pac-12 Conference’s defensive player of the week on Monday.
He had 20 total tackles against California on Saturday, tying for the fourth most ever by an Oregon State player. It also is the fourth-best mark by an NCAA FBS player this season, and surpasses teammate David Morris’ 17 against Minnesota as the most in the Pac-12.
Thirteen of Hungalu’s 20 tackles were solo efforts, the third most in the NCAA.
"There is no secret that Manase is a leader on our defense," Hall said. "He plays with great tenacity. When you say you want a defensive player that runs sideline to sideline, he moves sideline to sideline.
"I think you see production from his overall understanding of the game play, overall understanding of how Cal was to attack us. To see him put up numbers like that, for me, it's no surprise. Your heart goes out to Manase because you have a performance like that and you come up short."
Hungalu's big game came a week after he was cited by the Corvallis police for violent conduct after an argument outside Qdoba restaurant on Monroe Avenue.
"I watch him every day and I watch Manase grow as a player and grow as a leader and even being able to overcome the distractions of last week, it just really speaks to who he is not only as a football player but as a man," Hall said.