NFL passes two-strike automatic ejection rule for the 2016 season
Days before Super Bowl 50, commissioner Roger Goodell suggested that players committing two personal fouls in a game be subject to automatic ejection. And now it has become a reality.
The NFL Competition Committee has adopted the rule change for the 2016 season. Specifically, a "player penalized twice in one game for certain types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls" will be "disqualified."
Giants owner John Mara a big proponent of the ejection rule, believing some taunting and actions are "unacceptable' and "happen to much"— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 23, 2016
The rule will be reevaluated next offseason.
Rich McKay of competition committee notes concerns of coaches as a reason the automatic ejection proposal was passed for just 1yr for now— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 23, 2016
Pylon Cam view of Talib's face mask pic.twitter.com/Oz5ls96Pst— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) February 8, 2016
Were the infractions enough to kick him out of the game? No, of course not. But Goodell wants to guard against what happened during the regular season when Odell Beckham Jr. lost his mind when facing Josh Norman.
These antics were worthy of a one-game suspension.pic.twitter.com/n0miqdNZlc— HuffPost Sports (@HuffPostSports) December 21, 2015
Neither player was ejected -- though everyone agrees Beckham should have been tossed. Days later, the NFL suspended Beckham for one game.
So what's egregious enough to get a player ejected? According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, fewer than five penalties make the list. And ProFootballTalk reported last week that two categories are being considered.
The first category would consist of verbal abuse, taunting, and throwing a punch or a kick. The second category would be broader, with hits on defenseless players, impermissible use of the helmet, crown-of-helmet violations, roughing the passer, late hits, striking, kneeing, and kicking.
"I believe that the league should pursue a policy where if there are two personal fouls in a game, there's an automatic ejection of the player," Goodell said in his original remarks on Feb. 5. "I believe that's consistent with what we believe are the safety issues, but I also believe it's consistent with what we believe are the standards of sportsmanship that we've emphasized. We should take that out of the hands of the officials when it gets to that point. They'll obviously have to throw the flag, but when they do, we'll look to see if we can reach an agreement on the conditions of which they'd be ejected. ...
"We'll discuss it further with the player's association in February at the combine, as well as the membership in March. But I've recommended already to the competition committee to at least consider."
And discuss it they did. And now it's a rule for the 2016 season.
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