The Big 12 is ramping up efforts to crack down on taunting this season, and that means we could see a lot less of the “Horns Down” symbol during games.
Big 12 coordinator of officials Greg Burks essentially told reporters at Big 12 media days on Thursday that there will be more flags thrown for unsportsmanlike in the conference this season. When asked specifically about the “Horns Down” gesture, Burks made it clear that players won’t be allowed to flash it to opponents.
“Lemme put it this way: If you do a Horns Down to a Texas player as an opponent, that’s probably going to be a foul,” Burks said, via ESPN’s David Wilson.
Ultimately, it will be up to the officials to determine whether a “Horns Down” gesture constitutes unsportsmanlike conduct. Burks said a player might not be flagged if the symbol is flashed toward the crowd.
“Please all of you note, I said ‘probably,’” Burks added. “We have to consider intent and consider the situation. We’ll leave it to officials.”
Whether or not the “Horns Down” gesture should be allowed has been a topic of debate for years. It’s a popular way for people to mock Texas and its “Horns Up” gesture, and most would agree it’s harmless. However, players have been flagged for using it in games before.
Baker Mayfield, a former Oklahoma star, made it clear a while back how he feels about outlawing the “Horns Down” gesture. We’re guessing even some Texas fans aren’t bothered by it.