The NCAA football rules committee is reportedly considering a rules change that would erase the six points after a touchdown if taunting is involved. Currently, the offending team incurs a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff. If the rule is changed, the penalty yardage would be marked off from the spot of the foul.
I know, I know, someone is going to comment that won’t be a problem at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium next season. But that’s being a bit cynical, especially with Victor Anderson returning.
Changing the rule would be a bad idea. Taunting is not a major problem in college football so why even consider such a change? It just doesn’t occur that often, and the current penalty discourages the behavior.
So why would they even consider a change? One would have to suspect the dynamics of a committee are at work here. A group of coaches getting together during the off-season, expected to make some recommendations on improving the rules. They don’t have many ideas but they want to leave their mark. Suddenly one committee member goes off on a tangent, railing about taunting. Yeh, yeh, it’s bad, let’s do something about that.
Football is a rugged game, packed with emotional highs and lows. Taunting is not a good thing but expecting young men at their prime not to show any emotion is unrealistic. Some officials could interpret the act of excited players jumping up and down after a touchdown as excessive celebration. It has happened.
The punishment just doesn’t fit the crime.
If the rules committee wanted to make a difference, they could address the problem of the time-consuming and momentum-killing television timeouts. They would get a lot of support from fans, especially those in the stadium sitting through all of the commercials.