Blog Entry

National notes

Posted on: October 6, 2009 3:29 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2009 3:45 pm

Don’t believe that excessive celebrations are going away.

Secretary-editor of the NCAA rules committee Rodgers Redding told me Tuesday that he will continue to push for a rule that would penalize players for excessive celebrations on their way to a touchdown. That’s right, points could be taken off the board if, say, a player shows a defender the ball on his way to the end zone.

“I’m assuming it’s going to come up,” Redding said of February’s next rules committee meeting. “If not, I’ll bring it up.”

The possibility of such a rule came up last February when the rules committee released a statement on sportsmanship. I’ve been asked several times this week if officials will go lighter in such situations after A.J. Green’s gestures were misinterpreted on Saturday in the Georgia-LSU game.

The statement should tell you all you need to know. The flags are going to keep flying on these judgment calls.

The good news is that beginning this year, rules are changed only in two-year cycles. The earliest we could see a score be “voided”, as the rules committee puts it, is 2011.

Redding is also the SEC supervisor of officials who said Monday that the penalty against Green should not have been called.

 What tragic, tragic news that Juice Williams is being benched this week at Illinois.

This is a guy who led the Illini to the Rose Bowl two years ago. He has never been the same since. Blame it on losing his offensive coordinator (Mike Locksley, now at New Mexico). Blame it on Ron Zook. It’s clear something has happened to one of the more likeable kids in college sports. Now the pressure is on Zook whose team is out of the Big Ten race. 

“He never was a very good passer,” one former coach said of Williams. “Even when he throws it to the right guy it’s not in good body position. The receiver is reaching behind him.

When Illinois went to the Rose Bowl the same coach said, “they had Rashard Mendenhall who could run the ball. Juice Williams could run the ball, but he was only an average passer.” Now without a legitimate running threat, it was easier for defenses to concentrate on Williams.

The senior will be on the bench when the Illini, 1-3, host Michigan State, ending a streak of 38 consecutive starts. Williams holds the school record for career total yardage.

 Things don't look good for Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli who missed practice on Monday and Tuesday because of a right knee injury.

Masoli got hurt in the second quarter  of what was a glorified scrimmage against Washington State. Now squarely in the Pac-10 race, coach Chip Kelly might have to turn to backup Nate Costa or sophomore Darron Thomas. Not good news with a trip to UCLA coming. The Bruins are expected to get back quarterback Kevin Prince from a broken jaw.

Masoli has been wearing a knee brace and is listed as day-to-day.


Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: October 7, 2009 1:07 pm

National notes

The excessive celebration calls are so inconsistently meted out. It seems that the calls tend to go against the offense the majority of the time. An offensive player will often be called for "Shushing" the crowd but a defensive player who makes a tackle for loss, sack or a big hit can usually preen and run around in the offensive backfield without impugnity. I don't think either should be called as a penalty. The rule should just be for clearly and egregiously taunting the opponent. Shushing the crowd? What's the harm?

Since: Aug 26, 2008
Posted on: October 6, 2009 5:49 pm

National notes

The NCAA needs to go.  Whatever benefit they may have previously brought to the table of college athletics is past.  They are now too caught up in their own power and control, and have lost touch of what competive sports is all about.  They either cannot or will not fairly and objectively enforce their own rules.  Maybe that is because too many of the rules fail to meet the basic requisites of common sense.  The excessive celebration penalty is one of those.  I am not talking about taunting opposing players or fans, but 90% of the time, that is not what is being flagged.  They are penalizing kids who bust their butts to practice, prepare and give their all to accomplish a goal.  God forbid they should get excited when all of that pays off into a big score or a big stop.  Football is a physical and emotional game, as well as it should be.  Getting excited about having success is not bad sportsmanship, it is human nature.  Not to mention the fact that whether or not the flag gets thrown seems to depend dramatically on what conference the refs are from, if not what is at stake in the game itself.  I'm not saying there is an intent by the refs to effect the outcome, although I not dismissing the possibility, but I know it sure seems to happen a lot in big games where a lot is on the line.  I do not believe those games should be decided by the refs' completely subjective determination as to whether a player got too excited for scoring the potentially winning touchdown or for sacking the quarterback outside the range of a potentially winning field goal.

  That's just one thing that has become ridiculous.  The recruiting rules are petty and arcane.  They are not fairly or objectively enforced.  It has become a joke.  I haven't heard too many people who disagree with that assessment.

  Maybe it is time for about five or six of the top conferences to tell the NCAA, it's been real, it's been fun, but it hasn't been real fun, and to start their own association with reasonable rules that are enforced with common sense and with the actual goal of promoting college athletics.  If that happened, the NCAA would completely collapse.  Get the SEC, Big XII, Big Ten, ACC, PAC 10, and one other conference of your choice together.  The inter-conference games would be great.  The caliber of play every week would be even more outstanding, and they would all make 5 times as much money as they do in the NCAA.  With that number of teams, they could even, dare I say it, put together a playoff system!

  Yes, I know...the whole thing is a pipe dream, but something needs to give.  Just my .02.

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