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.