With nothing of substance going on between LOI Day and the start of Spring Practice; it's the time of the year where the potential rule changes come into light. As you remember, the past few years the NCAA has been tinkering with the clock rules. The NCAA made the mistake of allowing the clock to start when the ball was kicked off and on the ready for play after a change of possession. Both of those rules were put in to speed up the game, but in the end they were nixed after a year because...in all honesty, they were stupid rules. In 2009, the NCAA is going down the path to having another stupid rule enter the books.
The NCAA rules committee is considering disallowing a touchdown if a player is flagged for taunting during a scoring play. Think of an offensive player, headed toward the end zone, turning to show a defender the ball in a taunting manner before he crosses the goal line. That play would be considered a live-ball foul. This rule is going to be nothing but an utter mess for officials. Penalties such as holding and blocks in the back, leave a lot of room for subjectivity; and this "new" rule is the same way. Look at the uproar that occurred when a taunting penalty was called on Washington in the BYU game. Everyone on TV and in the newspaper crucified that official for calling the penalty, and that only penalized Washington 15 yards on the PAT, it did not take any points off the board.
No two officials call the game the exactly the same way. This is not a knock on the officials because, in my biased opinion, they have a tough enough job without adding this silly rule. There is just too much room for subjectivity and the first time it happens in a crucial game, that official is going to get raked over the coals. I understand the NCAA's position that they want to cut back on taunting, but leave it as a dead ball foul. Give the team the choice to take it on the kickoff or the PAT, just like it is called now. If they want to take it a step further, throw the coach and player out of the game if his team gets two taunting penalties in the same game, but do not take the points off the board. Besides the taunting penalty, there are two other rules which were recommended for change:
If a punter carries the ball outside the tackle box, he could not be the subject of a roughing-the-kicker penalty. The change addresses rugby-style punters who frequently run outside the tackle box before making their kicks. Both teams can wear colored jerseys if approved by a conference office and both teams. When an agreement is unable to be reached, the visiting team will wear white.