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Boston College Football: NCAA Enacting Rule Changes For 2014

A primer for the new rulings and procedure during the new college football season. And one color unis are gone. Sorry, Oregon.

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the NCAA introduced rules impacting the way the game was played, introducing new rule for targeting and intent to injure in an attempt to crack down on dirty, helmet-to-helmet hits.  The rule required an automatic ejection for the remainder of the football game, with a possible suspension of the first half of the next game if it occurred in the second half.

The rule was largely effective but still controversial.  Judgment calls by the refereeing staff resulted in quick trigger fingers on ejections, something that can change the possible outcome of the game.  In an attempt to clarify and tidy up loose ends around the rule, the NCAA ruled in the spring on new policies that won't necessarily change the game in 2014 but will attempt to make it more fair.


With respect to targeting, if video review overturns the targeting call and is not accompanied by a secondary personal foul, the 15-yard penalty assessed to the offender is also rescinded.  If the targeting penalty also carries a second penalty that would incur the penalty, the 15 yards are still assessed.

This updates last year's rule where targeting was reviewable but the yardage enforced regardless.

Roughing the Passer

The NCAA updated roughing the passer calls to include hits below the quarterback's knees.  This is similar to the Tom Brady rule enacted by the NFL to protect the passer.  In college, there is more emphasis placed on the quarterback as a passer because of the dual-threat ability to run.  If a quarterback decides to become a rusher, the rule interpretation is designed to allow wrap up tackles.  But if a guy's standing to throw the ball, a pass rusher cannot lunge at the guy's knees or take him out with a direct hit below the belt.


The NCAA ruled that numbers on the uniform must contrast with the primary uniform color.  That means this is no longer legal.  Teams not in compliance will be asked to change.  Failure to change will result in a charged timeout with the demand to change in between quarters.  Teams failing to comply will be charged timeouts each time they say no.  BC doesn't have this problem, but at least it means we might be seeing less of the terrible unicolor jerseys across the college landscape.

Tabled Rules Not Enacted

The NCAA entertained a rule that would slow down hurry-up offenses.  Although tabled and rejected, the rules committee handled a proposal that would've disallowed teams from snapping the football before 10 seconds ran off (excluding the final two minutes of the half).  Anybody snapping the football before the play clock read 29 would be assessed a five yard penalty.