NCAA flagged for excessive buzzkilling with new rules

15 04 2010

The NCAA has gone too far!!!

OK, we could say that on a daily basis, but this time it’s true. OK, we’ve all probably said that a hundred times already, too. But I’m serious. The new NCAA football rules are too much.

I understand and support the new wedge blocking rule on kickoffs. But the ban on eye-black messages is questionable and the new anti-celebration rule is just ridiculous.

It is no surprise that the NCAA waits until AFTER it’s Demigod Child Tim Tebow moved on to put this rule into place. They would never tell Tim he couldn’t do something. He could have written F*** USC on his eye black and got away clean as a surgical utensil. But now that he is gone, it is no longer acceptable. Because NOW, instead of wholesome religious references, unscrupulous football players might try to pay homage to deceased friends, area codes, or even put gang signs on them.

But the Nike Swoosh is OK?. Makes sense to me.

Now the new anti-celebration rule that penalizes teams by incurring the penalty from the spot of the infraction and removing the points is just unconstitutional.

I understand they want to reduce taunting and unsportsmanlike behavior, but this is just insane. You can tell a bunch of old white guys sat around a table sipping their Scotch while smoking cigars when they came up with this one.

High-stepping, pointing to the crowd or opponent and diving into the endzone uncontested are just a few examples of new rule violations. But who decides when and where the infraction officially occurred, and how? Will instant replay be used? Will there be a celebration cop on the crew? And how far will it go.

Just wait until the first game when a player is flagged for celebration after a visiting player returns an interception for a touchdown and slows down after glancing over his shoulder to see who is following him. Is slowing down and looking back at your opponent now considered taunting? How much slowing down is too much? If a player walks the final three yards into the endzone, is that excessive?

And then, wait until the first meaningful game is decided by an excessive celebration call for something minor like fist-pumping after a game/season-changing play. What if it is the player’s first career touchdown? Or an emotional day for a player who just lost his father and just broke away to score the game-winning touchdown? What happens if Team A is penalized for a certain celebration on Week 2 (and loses the game) and then Team B is not penalized for the same exact type of play during Week 5? Can Team A dispute the results of the game? How can the NCAA ensure consistency in the calls?

It is not a black-and-white, clearly defined situation. Of course, some instances are more blatant than others, but where does it end? Who has the final say? Can a coach challenge the interpretation?

And after a banner year for referees being fined or suspended for blowing pivotal game calls, do we really want to give them more power to institute a new rule than has too much room for individual bias and interpretation.

I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all! Flag me for that!!

Mr Pressbox Out!!

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