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‘Horns Down’ Gesture to Remain Penalty Despite Texas Departure from Big 12

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Kelsie LeRose / WVSN

During the Big 12 media days, Greg Burks, the coordinator of officials for the conference, was asked about the “Horns Down” gesture and the penalty isn’t going anywhere soon. Chris Vannini of The Athletic asked Burks on Wednesday if the penalty will go away once Texas departs the Big 12 for the SEC in 2025. Burks laughed and said that it will continue to be treated like any other penalty.

“Let me be very clear on Horns Down. It’s when you do it, who you do it to and the manner of how you do it. Please, state of Oklahoma, I meant no offense,” Burks said.

The “Horns Down” gesture has become a common denominator amongst Texas opponents. From the Big 12 to the FCS teams, horns down gets thrown around against the Longhorns. It went so far that the NCAA kicked out the national anthem singer that used the gesture in the College World Series in June. In 2021, the Big 12 announced that the taunt could be issued as a penalty to any player that uses it against Texas.

Despite the announcement of the potential penalty, players and fans still used the Horns Down motion when playing the Longhorns. Texas, as well as Oklahoma, plan on leaving the Big 12 for the SEC in 2025. The Big 12 is welcoming BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF in July 2023 and could have a 14-team conference for two academic years. With the new wave of conference realignment going at a rapid pace, the two departing schools could leave earlier.

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