Just in case, some major 2020 college football rule changes

No thanks to the Ivy League, but it is time to review the latest rule changes with the season tentatively set to begin in seven weeks.  The Ivy Leaguers have cancelled the 2020 season due to the pandemic.

Official reviews of replays will be limited to two minutes or less. There has been no time limit in the past, often leading to long delays between plays. The time limit applies to all reviews except those that end at the end of the game or at the half. “Reviews that are exceptionally complicated or involve end-of-game issues should be completed as efficiently as possible without a stated time limit,” as stated in the rule change.

Other changes:

— Game officials will now have jurisdiction over teams 90 minutes prior to kickoff. The rule stems directly from an incident in which University of Kentucky quarterback Lynn Bowden sucker-punched a Virginia Tech player before the Belk Bowl. He was allowed to play because the incident occurred more than 60 minutes before the game.–

— There there must be three seconds remaining to restore time to the clock. If less than three seconds remain on the game clock, the half is over. This change results from an incident in the Auburn-Alabama game when, with only one second remaining, Auburn was able to get it’s field goal unit on to the field, snap the ball and kick a field goal, and won by three points.

— Players ejected from games for targeting will now be allowed to remain on the sidelines for the remainder of the contest. Previously, they were sent to the locker room. Players still are subject to a one-game suspension if they commit three targeting fouls in a season.

— Teammates are allowed to share numbers as long as they are never on the field at the same time.

— The jersey number “0” has also been added to the list of jersey numbers allowed to be worn. The zero cannot proceed another number, as in 07 or 00, for example.

Some overdue changes, especially on official replay reviews. Now if only they could limit the length of TV commercial breaks.

Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

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