Thursday, February 12, 2009

NCAA Wants to be Less Fun

It's that time of the year again: NCAA Rules Committee time. On the docket this year, among other things, is a suggestion to crack down on celebrations. A proposal floated by Oregon's Mike Bellotti would enforce celebrations by individuals before they score from the spot of the foul, taking away points if they do in fact get in the end zone.

Normally, rule changes take place after an outcry against a rule during the season. In this case, Bellotti wants to enforce and expand a rule that actually came under fire during the season. When Washington's Jake Locker scored what looked to be the game-tying touchdown and flipped the ball in celebration, the Huskies were penalized and ended up missing the extra point. There are so many problems with this rule that I have to start with a reason it makes sense.

To some extent it makes sense not to allow a touchdown when someone celebrates by taunting or high stepping before they get in the end zone. After all, the play isn't over when the penalty takes place. It's the only offensive penalty that takes place during the play that allows a touchdown to stand that I can think of.

Still, it's ridiculous. You're really going to take points away for celebrations? If a ref makes a mistake the team will lose a touchdown instead of having to kick a longer extra point or kicking off from their own 20?

Another problem is the potential game changing nature of this rule. When do most of the excessive celebrations take place? That's right, the end of the game in close games. So a kid gets caught up in the moment and dives into the end zone and now he cost his team the game. Please no, NCAA.

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