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NCAA Rules Committee Proposes Defensive Substitution Change

Two new proposed rule changes came down the pipe today, one of which is going to be very well-received. The other is already controversial.

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

The NCAA announced two new proposed rule changes, the first of which is designed to eliminate the obviously illogical situation where a player is flagged for targeting, ejected, and the ejection overturned with the 15-yard penalty still in place.  The idea behind the targeting rule was to limit dangerous plays, but the practice left possible a situation where a player was penalized for doing nothing wrong.  That's not just saying it, either, the targeting aspect is immediately reviewed.  If the reviewing official believes targeting did not occur, officials overturn the player's ejection.  In that situation, the officials have just said that the player did not commit a targeting violation, yet the 15-yard penalty remains for nothing.

The only organization I can think of that would institute a rule like this and not recognize that exact problem is the NCAA.  It's only taken them a full season to potentially change things to the way they should have been in the first place.  Great job, guys.

The second rule is the one that is going to ruffle feathers, especially around these parts.  Under the proposed rules change for defensive substitution, the defense is guaranteed a chance to substitute players on every single play, even when the offense does not.  With the current rule, as long as you keep the same offensive personnel, the ball can be snapped without giving the defense the chance to substitute.  Teams like Baylor that run hurry-up offenses take advantage by running plays quickly without changing personnel, trapping the defense in a look or set that may be disadvantageous.  To date, this has been exceptionally sound strategy.  If this rule change goes through, it will be a penalty.  The proposed rule states that the ball cannot be snapped before :29 remains on the game clock, giving the defense 10 seconds to substitute, regardless.  The idea behind the rule is to make players safer, and's Stewart Mandel has already taken to calling it the Saban/Bielema Rule, since those two have been the most outspoken about this danger.

Since I started tweeting about this a few minutes ago, I've been asked several times how many snaps (or what percentage) Baylor had this season with > or = :30 on the clock.  I don't know, nor do I know anybody that does.  The NCAA says it doesn't happen all that much.  That information is not included in typical game data, so we're going to have to watch if we want to know for sure.  I think it a worthwhile question to answer, so I'm willing to do it.  Who wants to help?

Volunteers So Far:

Wofford: Aqua
ULM: Kirobaito
KSU: David Maxwell
UT: Mattisbear