NCAA Committee Approves Three New Rules for 2011 Season
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- College football will have a few rule changes in place this fall, including one that will give teams the option of shaving 10 seconds off the clock in penalty situations.
The most notable change approved Thursday by the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel is the 10-second runoff that can occur if a team commits a penalty in the final minute of a half. Opponents will have the option of taking the yardage and the time, the yardage only or declining the penalty.
The committee also approved a rule that allows video monitors in the coaches' booths. The televisions will have access only to any live broadcast of the game - no video recorders - to help coaches decide if they should challenge a call. If the monitors are available to the home team, they must also be available to the visitor.
Those changes coincide with perhaps the biggest change of the season - a taunting rule that could cost teams points.
Last April, the playing rules panel approved a decision to nullify touchdowns if a player is called for taunting before he crosses the goal line. Examples include players finishing touchdown runs by high-stepping into the end zone or pointing the ball toward an opponent.
The panel decided then to wait one year before implementing the change.
Previously, the 15-yard penalty was assessed on the extra point attempt, 2-point conversion attempt or the ensuing kickoff. Penalties called after the player crosses the goal line still will be assessed on those plays, but live-ball fouls will be assessed at the spot of the foul and eliminate the score.
The playing rules panel also approved two changes they hope will make the game safer.
Players lined up within seven yards of the center on scrimmage plays will still be permitted to block below the waist anywhere on the field.
But receivers or running backs lined up outside the tackle box will only be allowed to block below the waist if they are blocking straight ahead or toward the nearest sideline. If they go inside and block toward the play, it would be a penalty.
The defensive team also will be assessed a 5-yard penalty if three or more players try to overpower one offensive lineman on place kicks.