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OU football: Horns down sign to be penalized if directed at opposing team, fans

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Tre Norwood

Senior cornerback Tre Norwood throws the 'horns down' sign after the spring game April 12.

Big 12 Coordinator of Officials Greg Burks addressed the media at Big 12 Media Days in Arlington, Texas on Tuesday morning about whether the horns down gesture will be penalized.

He was asked whether the infamous celebration that Big 12 teams, particularly the Sooners, often use when playing against Texas. 

His answer may not be satisfactory for Sooner fans.

"It depends," Burks said.

Burks said that if the celebration isn't directed at the other team or the other team's fans, then it will be not flagged as an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but if it is, the gesture could be subject to penalty.

"If someone scores real quickly and turns to their cheering section, it's real quick, and moves on, then we're probably not going to react to that," Burks said. "If they happen to turn to the other crowd or the other bench, or it's prolonged to a player, then it would be like any unsportsmanlike act. ... If they do it in their bench area, then we're not going to look at it, it would be like any other celebration foul."

In a 42-41 win over Texas on Nov. 3, 2018, West Virginia was given a 15-yard penalty for throwing up a horns down sign twice, and Lincoln Riley told the media that the Big 12 told him his team could not make the horns down sign in the Big 12 Championship Game on Dec. 1, 2018.

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