University of Texas

Will a Texas’ horns down gesture be penalized? It depends.

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown (5) gestures “horns down”  as he celebrates after scoring a touchdown on a 77-yard reception against Texas in the second half of an NCAA college football game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The Texas-Oklahoma rivalry is never short on bad blood between the Big 12 border states. (AP Photo/Cooper Neill, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown (5) gestures “horns down” as he celebrates after scoring a touchdown on a 77-yard reception against Texas in the second half of an NCAA college football game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The Texas-Oklahoma rivalry is never short on bad blood between the Big 12 border states. (AP Photo/Cooper Neill, File) AP PHOTO

Will Grier’s horns down gesture to Texas fans after he scored during a game last season should probably be flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.

That’s according to Greg Burks, head of Big 12 officiating.

Burks said Grier’s horns down, which is when someone uses the Longhorns’ hand gesture directed down instead of up, would have been fine if he’d done it with his teammates near the West Virginia bench.

“It’s a hot topic. I know people want us to be very definitive about it,” Burks said. “Is it directed at an opponent or just a celebration?”

Officials will probably ignore a horns down gesture unless it’s directed at Texas players or fans.

“I don’t know if it’s clear to everybody or not, our officials are going to enforce anything that they consider to be an unsportsmanlike act that’s directed at another player,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. “That was our stance last year and it continues to be our stance.”

The Texas Longhorns sing "The Eyes of Texas" with their fans after a 28-21 victory over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2019.

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Stefan Stevenson has been covering sports for the Star-Telegram since 1997. He spent five years covering TCU athletics, which included two BCS bowls, two trips to the college World Series and the move to the Big 12. He has covered the Texas Rangers since 2014 and started reporting on the Dallas Cowboys in 2016.
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