Keeping emotions on a short leash

Not satisfied with how one of last season’s worst calls once again demonstrated that many referees have no clue where to draw the  line between natural emotion and taunting (“excessive celebration” in the lingo of the rule book), the NCAA is considering doubling down in the near future.

… The NCAA’s football rules committee, meanwhile, is weighing its own sportsmanship-related measure. Taunts or showboating by players in mid-play — for instance, as a ball carrier is five or 10 yards from crossing the goal line — could be treated as live-ball rather than dead-ball fouls, potentially wiping out scores in the same way holding and clipping do.

The panel considered the change for the coming season and passed, but will look at the issue again next year, say its secretary and rules editor, Rogers Redding.

“I think the sense is it would stop it in a heartbeat,” says Redding, the Southeastern Conference’s coordinator of football officials.

“The issue is not around celebrating.. .. We want the (the players) to play with enthusiasm and celebrate with their teammates and enjoy the game. The line gets crossed when there’s taunting and inciting.”

I can’t wait to see what Penn Wagers & Co. do with that puppy.


Filed under The NCAA

15 responses to “Keeping emotions on a short leash

  1. 69Dawg

    Pleaseeee that ahole Redding is a Tech grad. Why the SEC thinks that the natural enemy of one of it’s programs makes a dandy Supervisor of officials I’ll never know. Why not get an FSU grad to give it a try and see how happy CUM would be. We get screwed by the SEC refs for a very good reason the SEC doesn’t give a rat’s rearend.


  2. CFR

    This is a TERRIBLE idea that needs to die a swift death.

    I appreciate what they’re concerned about but to essentially erase actual play outcomes not because of any actual football act but something unrelated is asinine.

    The hypothetical touchdown happened, its attached to a taunt or whatever but on a live play with no other penalties aiding that score, you take the play away? Thats so bizarre.

    I’d heard about this months ago but thanks for the reminder.


  3. CFR

    This is obviously the target (1:19)(2:50)


    • Carruthers

      I was thinking of that exact play at the 1:19 mark, when I was reading this post.


      • CFR

        And that happened because Michigan’s No. 19 was woofing all game.

        I think its very dangerous to regulate emotions in the game (whether it be trash talk, taunting, etc.). Jarrett’s taunt didn’t happen in a vacuum and either they’re going to keep an eye on all the talk that leads to this stuff or they have to step back and let it happen and penalize afterwards.

        Taking away TD’s is too severe a penalty by half and is a denial of reality (just as I think vacating wins etc. is stupid but thats for another day).

        For those looking to curb the celebratory excesses I understand the concern and there’s rules in place to corral some of this (already too severe, in my view), but this proposal is just craaaaaaaazy.

        Single out players after a game if needed, publicly shame unsportsmanlike behavior and make that a deterrant, but leave the penalties that are unrelated to actual game play, out of it.


  4. Macallanlover

    I know I am in a minority on this issue, but I like the idea of enforcing a taunting/sportmanship penalty in CFB. I don’t like the way it is widely/unequally enforced from game to game, or conference to conference. Celebrating reasonablly seems OK to me, and so long as it is just celebrating I feel it should be a delay of game call, not a 15 yard penalty. But I have no problem with cutting out the showboating, or poor sportmanship by penalizing teams 15 yards. The idea of negating scores would be effective, imo.

    I think there are ways to separate the two issues of celebrating and taunting that would reduce the outcry from fans, coaches, and players. CFB shouldn’t allow actions like those tolerated in the NFL. It is a team game and no individual should act as if they acomplished anything without the help of others….that just doesn’t happen in football.


    • Celebrating reasonablly seems OK to me, and so long as it is just celebrating I feel it should be a delay of game call, not a 15 yard penalty.

      Ah, but therein lies the rub. Your idea of what constitutes reasonable celebration and that of, say, the typical Pac-10 official may be quite different, especially in the heat of the moment.

      That’s why this is such a bad idea.


      • Macallanlover

        That is why I mentioned unequal enforcement as an issue. The key distinction I am trying to make is between “celebrating” and “taunting/bad sportmanship”. I feel enthusiasm can be tolerated by letting teams celebrate without penalty UNLESS they are unable to get the lined up for the next play in time. (Individual celebrations, or orchestrated celebrations would still be called unsportsmanlike.) If teams aren’t able to get the next play off in time, they would get a 5 yard delay penalty. Handling it this way would separate it from a taunting/showboating penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. I realize there is a point where the lines could get blurred, but I feel this would be much more acceptable to fans and coaches…none of whom want to kill genuine entusiasm for achievements.


  5. S.E. Dawg

    Their going to Rule and Regulate the fun out of College Football.

    And my very thoughts on too on Penn Wager and co.


  6. Vinings Dog

    I agree 100% with Macallanlover. I despise showboating. But, I do not want to give the refs the ability to change the outcome of a game on a judgment call.

    There must be some other ways to penalize teams for taunting.


  7. OldDawg

    Rather than rely on the referee to make the proper call during the emotion of the game (I’m looking at you Pac-10 and Penn Wagers), why not keep the rule as it is, 15 yard dead ball unsportsmanlike penalty, THEN let the conference review it, and if appropriate, suspend the player for the next game, or half the next game. Gives cool down and review time for everyone, and still puts teeth in the rule.


  8. Mitch

    I just thought of something. They could institute a system like in soccer with yellow/red cards. When someone gets and unsportsmanlike penalty it is like a yellow card. Two in one game makes it a red card and that player is out for the rest of that game and the next one. If someone gets yellow cards in two consecutive games then they are out of the next game. It is pretty harsh but it would curb the taunting/unsportsmanlike conduct.