Take note of the following rule changes lifted from the NCAA.org site, some of which could have some significant effects on college football this fall. You can be the one fans will turn to, wanting to know what just happened on the field.

  • Unsportsmanlike conduct penalties will be treated as either live-ball or dead-ball fouls. If a player makes a taunting gesture to an opponent on the way to scoring a touchdown, the flag would nullify the score and penalize the offending team 15 yards from the spot of the foul. Penalties for dead-ball misconduct fouls (for example, unsportsmanlike behavior after the player crosses the goal line) continue to be assessed on the ensuing kickoff or the extra point/two point conversion attempt.
  • Blocking below the waist will be illegal except on scrimmage plays in the following instances:  1) Wide receivers more than seven yards from the center at the snap of the ball can block below the waist only against a player facing him or toward the nearest sideline. 2)Running backs/receivers in the backfield and outside the tackle box (the area five yards on either side of the center) or players in motion can block below the waist only on players facing them or toward the nearest sideline. 3)Players on the line of scrimmage within seven yards of the center are still allowed to block below the waist anywhere on the field.
  • Penalties will be assessed in instances in which three defensive players line up shoulder-to-shoulder and move forward on place kicks.
  • A 10-second rundown of the game clock will be assessed if a team commits a foul that stops the clock in the final minute of both halves. The opponent has three options in these instances: 1) Take the yardage penalty and the 10-second rundown. 2) Take the yardage penalty without the 10-second rundown. 3) Decline both the 10-second rundown and the penalty yardage.
  • Video monitors will be allowed in the coaches’ booth for the purpose of determining whether a team should request an instant-replay challenge. Only a live broadcast of the game will be allowed (that is, no editing/rewinding capabilities). If monitors are installed, the home team must provide the same equipment in both coaching booths.


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By Charlie Springer

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