If a recommendation is made Friday by the NCAA rules commission, players who were targeted in the second half a college football game may be allowed to play the next game.
The committee met in Indianapolis for four days and recommendedpenalizing open-field blocks below waist level. They also suggested creating an investigation process to investigate allegations that a team may have feigned injuries. This could result in conferences penalizing schools or coaches.
The April playing rules oversight panel must approve any recommendations before they can be implemented next season.
Although the committee considered changing the way that the game clock works to reduce games’ time and length, they decided against it.
Last season, the average FBS game lasted 3 hours and 28 minutes. It also included approximately 137 offensive plays.
Recently, the topic of cutting down on college football game time and play has been a hot topic as conference commissioners discussed expanding the playoff. This would allow for more games to be played per season.
2024 season. Attempts to increase the College Football Playoff to 12 players failed. A new format will be implemented in 2026.
Steve Shaw, national coordinator of officials, stated that the number of players per match has stabilized in the six previous seasons following a slight decline.
“But we have discussed at some point whether we need to address it if the season gets longer because of a longer playoff,” stated Stanford coach David Shaw. He is also the chairman of the rules committee.
Since several years, the rules committee has been trying to prevent injuries being faked, mainly by defensive players who want to slow down high-tempo offenses.
Steve Shaw stated that the committee is still hesitant to make in-game changes. A rule that requires players who are treated on-field to miss the rest of an offensive possession is being questioned. This would encourage players who are actually injured to continue playing through the injury.
“So now, for questionable action in a game, the institution or conference can contact the national coordinator of officials to arrange a video review. Steve Shaw stated that if any findings are made, they will be sent back to the conference offices. The conference office will then deal with the institution and coach to correct them.
Although punishments suggested were not recommended by David Shaw, Shaw stated that he would prefer coaches to face “severe sanctions” for coaching players to fake injuries.
David Shaw stated, “This is one those things that are being taught that is unethical.” “So we will do our best to get this out. We hope we’ll get some cooperation from conference officials, conference commissions, and lean on these coaches that are teaching untruessful things.”
While the targeting foul has been a point of contention between coaches, players, and fans for years, there has not been any serious effort to change it. In its current form, targeting is a penalty of 15 yards and the ejection the flagged player.
Players who are ejected during the first half of a match do not have the right to miss the second. Players who are ejected in the second-half must sit out the first game.
The proposal of the committee allows the conference office to request the national coordinator to review a second-half target violation.
The committee suggested that if the calling of the target is clearly and obvious, it be overturned retroactively. In this case, the player would be allowed to continue playing in the first half.
David Shaw stated that the committee supports the targeting rule. He believes it will continue to support player safety and health.
Recent changes to the video officials’ in-game review of targeting have resulted in more fouls being called on the field.
Some coaches call for a two-level targeting foul with the most flagrant drawing an expulsion.
Although it is difficult to quantify the effects of the penalty, rules makers are reluctant to reduce its severity. They claim that it has changed player behavior and reduced the number of dangerous hits.
Recent data analysis from Pac-12 games between 2016-19 was published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. It showed that the risk of concussion from a targeting play was 37x higher than for all other plays.
Recent seasons have not seen a significant increase in the number of targeting fouls. It was 0.20 per match in 2021 according to NCAA data. That’s about one for every five games. This was 0.27 less than in 2020, but slightly higher than 2019 (0.19).