Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Right Decision

The NCAA Football Rules Committee today abandoned changes that cut 14 minutes and several plays from an average football game in 2006 but also angered some coaches and fans."The changes we made last year, overall, did not have a positive effect on college football at all levels," said Michael Clark, chair of the committee said in a statement released by the NCAA. "Our charge is to protect the game and do what is best for college football. Last year's game lost too many plays, but it accomplished the need to shorten the overall time it takes to play a game. The changes we have made for 2007 balance both of these issues."Many Southeastern Conference coaches, including Ole Miss' Ed Orgeron and Florida's Urban Meyer, were against the 2006 rules."I always get concerned when we start changing things for television or to be like the NFL," Meyer said during an SEC teleconference in September. "... It's probably selfish on my part, but I like football. I think we need more plays, I don't quite understand it. I'm very disappointed with how it went through."Rule 3-2-5-e is reverting back to its 2005 form. The clock will now start on the snap after a change in possession, unlike in 2006 when the clock started when the referee signaled the ball ready for play.On kickoffs, the clock will start when its legally touched in play, instead of 2006 when the clock started after the ball was kicked.The committee did vote to make other changes designed to shorten the game - among them shortening timeouts by 30 seconds and moving kickoffs from the 35-yard line to the 30-yard line.