You hear about the move by the NCAA Football Rules Committee this week to further toughen the unsportsmanlike-conduct/excessive-celebration penalty?
The penalty, which stirred much controversy hereabouts when it was incorrectly called on Georgia’s A.J. Green against LSU last season, will get tougher in the 2011 season if approved by one more NCAA committee.
Basically, the change would make unsportsmanlike conduct a live-ball foul, meaning, for example, that a taunting gesture en route to a touchdown would nullify the score and be penalized from the spot of the foul.
The change would not impact penalties for celebrations in the end zone after a score, such as the one against Green, because those dead-ball fouls would continue to be assessed on the ensuing kickoff or extra-point/two-point conversion attempt.
Of course, the problem with the Green penalty was that it never should have been called. The SEC said two days later that video evidence did not support the flag, which came after Green scored the go-ahead touchdown. A 15-yard penalty was assessed on the ensuing kickoff and jump-started LSU’s game-winning touchdown drive.
At the least, the Green penalty underscored the subjective and inconsistent nature of such calls.
And now the stakes could be raised.
This week’s move to toughen the consequences of live-ball unsportsmanlike-conduct flags came in a Wednesday vote by the Football Rules Committee. In a comment posted on the NCAA’s website, committee chairman (and Oregon athletics director) Mike Bellotti says:
“Our committee firmly believes in the team concept of college football. Taunting and prolonged individual acts have no place in our game, and our officials have generally handled these rules well. This is just another step in maintaining our game’s image and reflecting the ideals of the NCAA overall.”
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel must approve the change before it can take effect.
What say you about this?
Please follow me on Twitter for the latest UGA news and notes.