North Texas’s fake fair catch-turned-punt return touchdown has been a viral sensation from the moment it happened this weekend. My own poorly-shot-from-my-own-TV clip of it has been retweeted a record (for me) 2,800 times and counting, and it’s since made the leap to far more important avenues, such as NBC’s Football Night in America pre-game show, ABC’s Good Morning America and your mom’s Facebook feed.
And it’s easy to see why. Keegan Brewer and the Mean Green pulled off something none of us have ever seen before, at least not that smoothly and successfully.
However, some of the conversation spawned from that play is how the NCAA will (or should) make a fake fair catch illegal. As the NCAA efforts to make the game safer and protect defenseless player, some poor punt returner was soon destined to be drilled by an overzealous gunner looking to ensure he doesn’t get made a fool of like his Razorback colleagues.
And then on Tuesday morning, Tommy Craft of the ESPN Radio affiliate in Little Rock tweeted the NCAA was considering doing exactly that, as soon as this weekend.
However, ESPN.com’s Kyle Bonagura quoted an NCAA spokesman saying no such rule was being considered.
It’s not clear exactly how you could outlaw a fake fair catch. Would refs have to penalize live punt returners who don’t immediately start running upon catching the ball?
Anyway, considering the origin of the report came from Little Rock, it seems like this rumor may have been some wishful thinking from someone smarting from being on the business end of a viral play.