Opinion: NCAA Rule change is confusing the game
By Albert Shelby
September 21, 2013
Is it just me or is this new NCAA targeting and above the shoulders rule only more confusing than it is helpful?
As I sit and watch college football over the weekends now, I find myself trying to figure out the true meaning of a safe tackle.
How can I tell if this player meant to hit the opposing player above the shoulders, if the opposing player drops his shoulder?
It’s tricky, right?
I even find it hard to make judgment on if a player is targeting another player. I believe that the rule only makes the job tougher on the referee because freak accidents may occur on the field.
You are basically asking referees to make a two second judgment call that can change the outlook of the game and also the possibility of the accused player being forced to miss a game.
The rules were implemented for safety but I’m not sure if the rule is as safe as the NCAA may think it is.
Football is a contact sport and once you get on the field, you immediately enter a danger zone. Anything can happen on the field and injuries occur very often.
So I decided to think like a football player.
If I am a defensive player and I’m on the field while a 250 pound back is running at me full speed, I have no choice but to go after his legs because if I go past the shoulders, then that’s an automatic penalty and ejection.
If things shift that way in college football then the torn ACL trend will make its way from the NBA to college football because of all of the hits below the waist.
Then we would have to make rules preventing players from going low, and the game will only be complicated more.
Look, I know that safety is key, but I do have to agree with Western linebacker Yomi Ali.
When guys sign up for this sport, they know exactly what they are about to put themselves through. They signed up knowing that they are making sacrifices to their bodies that can and will impact their daily lives moving forward.
These rules that the NCAA have made can take the fun out of the game and change the whole cultural aspect of the sport altogether.
Once again, I am all for safety, but people don’t watch or play football because it’s safe. They watch it because of the physical nature.
I believe that anything less than that should be called flag football or two hand touch.