Tulane tackles new NCAA football rules

Tackling piles, such as this one involving redshirt sophomore running back Sherman Badie, are one area of the game the new NCAA rules hope to clean up. Any player who roughly pushes or pulls another player off of a pile may now face unsportsmanlike conduct calls.

Samantha Shafia, Staff Reporter

The NCAA has called housekeeping to clean up some of the football rules for the 2015 season.

According to NCAA.com, there have been new rules implemented this year, but they’re the kind of rules that will be mainly used in rare moments of football games.

Some of those rare moments consist of knocked-off helmets, onside kicks and getting an opponent off a tackle pile. The NCAA had answers for all of these small moments. 

In accordance with the new rules, if a player’s helmet comes off, the player has to get off the field for one play. If the player is on the defensive side, the play clock is reset to 40 seconds. If the player is on the offensive side, the play clock has to be reset to 25 seconds.

An instant replay review has also been put into effect on onside kicks. This instant replay can be used to determine whether or not the kicking team defended the ball correctly. 

“We’ve tried to stay away from judgment calls,” SEC Coordinator of Officials Steve Shaw said. “Now an illegal block on an onside kick is reviewable.”

Doug Lichtenberger, special teams coordinator and linebacker coach believes the kick reviews and judgment calls are not going to have too drastic of an impact due to the rarity of an onside kick.  

“I talked to our officials before the season about [the onside kick review] … they said that they don’t see it having a big impact,” Doug Lichtenberger, special teams coordinator and linebacker coach, said. “The hard part is that you may onside kick once a year. It could be game one or game ten, you never know.”

If a player roughly pushes or pulls an opposing player off of a pile of people, the pusher or puller will be given an unsportsmanlike conduct call.

“The Rules Committee has been telling players, you can’t do this,” Shaw said. “So now, [this] goes into our list of automatics.”

There were also some more dominant rules that were put into place this year.

One of these changes was the addition of the eighth official, also labelled the “C official.” This new member of the official’s team stands in the backfield to monitor the players.

Though the rule changes made in 2015 are not drastic, the NCAA continues to ensure the safety of the players and progress the rules of the game.

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