Nothing like a Friday afternoon news dump in early March from the NCAA about college… football.
The NCAA Football Rules Committee announced a handful of new proposals that significantly tweak several aspects of the game on Friday, most notably allowing the receiving team on a kickoff to fair catch the ball inside the 25-yard line and have it result in a touchback.
“The committee discussed the kickoff play at great length and we will continue to work to find ways to improve the play,” Larry Fedora, chair of the committee and North Carolina’s head coach said in a statement. “We believe making one change will allow us to study the effect of this change in terms of player safety.”
The committee also proposed changes to blocks below the waist, pace of play and replay among other areas. This includes prohibiting offensive players from throwing blocks below the waist more than five yards beyond the line of scrimmage, all blocks below the waist being from the front, having the play clock get reset to 40 seconds following touchdowns and kickoffs, plus a 10 second run-off in the final minute of each half if replay reverses an incorrect call that stopped the clock.
The process is not done and these are still just proposals from the committee at this stage. The package of rules changes will head to the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel next and will be discussed on their conference call next month.