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NCAA Football Proposed Rule Changes for 2013

 

Getty Images- Rick Stewart

It’s the off-season for NCAA football, that time between National Signing Day and Spring Training. The  NCAA rules committee get together for their annual meeting to see if any changes to the existing rules should be made. Top priority are concerns for player safety. The committee has released 10 proposed changes for the 2013-14 season.  Here are some of the more important ones.

Targeting:  The biggest, and by far, the most controversial proposed NCAA football rule change, concerns the rule about targeting of a player above the shoulders. The wording of the NCAA Targeting rule essentially does not change, but instead of the officials assessing a 15-yard penalty, the officials would penalize the offending team a 15-yard penalty plus ejecting the guilty player for four consecutive quarters of play (the remaining portion of the current game as well as additional tack-on time during the next game. That’s a lot to put on an official.

Clock runoff: Since the introduction of the no-huddle offense, teams have faked injury in an effort to give teams more time before the next snap. To eliminate this, the committee proposed a new NCAA football rule to charge a 10-second clock runoff with less than a minute left in either half “when the sole reason for the clock to stop is an injury.”  They have something similar to this in the NFL. I have no problem with this one.

Spiking the football: In another controversial move, the committee suggested that an offense be prohibited from spiking the ball in an effort to stop the clock when there is three or fewer seconds left on the clock. This prevents late game field goal kicker heroics, putting the success or failure all on the quarterback’s ability to throw a TD instead. I really don’t like this one.

More instant replay:  No longer will the officials only be able to use the instant replay system to adjust the clock at the end of each half, but now it can be conducted at the end of each quarter. I could take or leave this one.

These proposed changes will now be considered by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which will convene March 6th.. They will evaluate each one and decide to accept or decline the recommendations. However, if history is any indication, the proposals will be accepted without reservations by the NCAA.

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