No huddle offenses are being told to slow down, if the NCAA rules committee has their way.
The committee proposed two new rule changes during their winter meetings: one involving player ejections for targeting fouls, the other mandating a 10-second substitution period after each play.
Under the new targeting rules, if a replay determines that targeting should not have been called, then the 15-yard penalty will also be overturned. While replay isn’t currently used the OVC, it is used in the FCS playoffs.
In games where instant replay is not in use, the committee recommended an option to permit on-field officials to review first-half targeting calls during halftime. The OVC will have to permit this rule, or both teams would have to agree. (Something that will almost certainly happen) The review must be conducted by the referee in the officials’ locker room, and the video provided by the home team. (Likely the OVC digital network feed)
Officials could then reverse the targeting call and allow the player to compete in the second half.
Another major rule change includes defensive substitutions. The committee is recommending that the offense not be be allowed to snap the ball until the play clock reaches 29 seconds or less, except in the final two minutes of either half. The idea here is to allow the defense 10 seconds to substitute after every play.
If the offense does snaps the ball early…a 5-yard, delay-of-game penalty will be assessed. Even in no-huddle offenses, it’s rare when a team does snap the ball that quickly, but sometimes would if the defense attempted to sub, hoping to catch them off guard.
Last season, the targeting rule was implemented and any player committing the penalty would be ejected and his team assessed a 15-yard penalty. That 15-yard penalty still remained even when replay overturned the ejection.
However, if the targeting foul is committed in conjunction with another personal foul, the 15-yard penalty for that personal foul remains. For example, if a player is called for roughing the passer and targeting the head and neck area, but the instant replay official rules that targeting did not occur, the player flagged would remain in the game, but the roughing the passer penalty would still be enforced.
All rules proposals must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which will discuss the football rules changes March 6.