The NCAA Football Rules Committee has proposed an alteration to the 15-yard targeting penalty and a rules change that would allow a defensive substitution that would slow down hurry-up, no huddle offenses.
The rules committee proposes that an overturned targeting penalty foul would not result in a 15-yard penalty. This past season, the ejection to the player could be overturned upon review, but the 15-yard penalty still stood. Now, the committee has proposed that if the player ejection penalty is overturned, the 15-yard penalty would also.
This needs to happen, but it’s one year too late.
The targeting penalty changes will get all the headlines, but the defensive substitution proposal would be a complete game changer.
Related: SEC coach hammers new NCAA proposal
The rules committee is proposing to let defenses substitute within the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock, with the exception of the final two minutes of the half…all in the name of player safety, via NCAA.org.
“This rules change is being made to enhance student-athlete safety by guaranteeing a small window for both teams to substitute,” said Calhoun. “As the average number of plays per game has increased, this issue has been discussed with greater frequency by the committee in recent years and we felt like it was time to act in the interests of protecting our student-athletes.”
The offense wouldn’t be allowed to snap the ball until the play clock reached 29 seconds or less, and if it happens, a 5-yard delay of game penalty will be enforced.
Under the current rules, defenses don’t have the opportunity to substitute players in and out if the offenses don’t. That’s why Auburn and Texas A&M, among others, have created favorable matchups and keep their foot on the gas pedal.
Let’s call this the Bret Bielema and Nick Saban rule. Both coaches are proponents of defenses substituting, and both have been outspoken against up-tempo offenses. Bielema has been a critic of the style of offense in the name of player safety.
The release said the committee discussed the issue at length before ultimately coming to the conclusion that defensive teams should be allowed some period of time to substitute.
All rules proposals must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel held on March 6th.
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