And for Big 12 teams, that means you can’t give them the “Horns Down” either.
The gesture has been popular taunt for opposing teams (looking at you, Oklahoma) playing the Texas Longhorns in recent years, but the Big 12 announced today at their media day that the gesture would “probably” be a penalty this year.
Big 12 coordinator of officials Greg Burks said that if an opposing player does a Horns Down to a Texas player, that will probably be a penalty. But doing a Horns Down toward your own fans "probably won't," be a penalty, although he left open the possibility that it could be.
When asked about the Horns Down as part of the league’s crackdown on unsportsmanlike conduct, the Big 12 coordinator of football officials Greg Burks gave an answer that’s about as clear as mud:
“If you do a Horns Down to a Texas player as an opponent, that’s probably going to be a foul.
If you turn to the crowd and do a Horns Down … it will probably not be a foul.
Please all of you note, I said ‘probably.’ We have to consider intent and consider the situation. We’ll leave it to officials.”
I mean, not really…
The Horns Down has been a big topic of conversation when it comes to officiating in the Big 12 in recent years, after West Virginia was flagged twice for the gesture in 2018 and Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley warned his team against flashing the Horns Down ahead of the team’s matchup with Texas in the 2018 Big 12 Championship Game.
Good grief. It’s a hand gesture. It’s not threatening, just a little good old fashioned shit-talking. What’s the big deal here?
Obviously football fans took to Twitter to mock the crackdown on Horns Down, calling officials and Texas “soft” for banning the gesture.