‘Horns Down’ Allowed On Case By Case Basis When Texas Joins SEC
Still more than a year before Texas and Oklahoma will be joining and competing in the SEC. In one respect the SEC is welcoming them with open arms. Especially the Longhorns, by holding the SEC Media Days in Dallas in 2024.
In another respect, the Longhorns have been put on notice.
Via Brett McMurphy from the Action Network
John McDaid, SEC’s coordinator of officials, on penalizing for Horns down signal in ‘24: “Unsportsmanlike conduct needs to fit 1 of 3 categories:
Is it taunting an opponent?
Is it making a travesty of the game? Is it otherwise compromising our ability to manage the game?
There’s a difference between a player giving a signal directly in a face of an opponent, as opposed to doing it w/teammates celebrating after a touchdown or on the sideline.
To net all that out, every single occurrence is not an act of unsportsmanlike conduct.” McDaid said the same applies to players displaying Gator Chomp & Land Shark signals.
Although it sounds as though the SEC will permit 'Horns Down' in 2024 when Texas joins the SEC, McDaid sounds very similar to Big 12 Coordinator of Officials Greg Burks at Big 12 Media Days in 2019.
"The answer I will give you is 'it depends.' It's like any unsportsmanlike act. If somebody scores quickly, turns to their cheering section, and it's quick and they move on, we're not going to do anything with that. If it's to a bench or to another player, and it's prolonged, it would be an unsportsmanlike act."
It took only a coupe of years for the Big 12 & Burks to prohibit the 'Horns Down' gesture.
For the most part Texas and Oklahoma have ruled to the roost so to speak when it comes to rules and regulations in the Big 12. The Longhorns and Sooners have generally set the priorities for the conference.
Come 2024, it appears Texas and Oklahoma will have to adjust to SEC priorities compared to just their own.