Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

The NCAA comes up with another subjective safety rule.

I guess they felt officials might have idle time on their hands with the change to the targeting rules.  Good luck on figuring out when a running quarterback behind the line of scrimmage is in a passing situation, fellas.



Filed under The NCAA

17 responses to “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

  1. Debby Balcer

    Good thing Aaron is gone I am sure it would not apply to anyone who hit him.


  2. Here’s the full release:


    “The rule specifically covers a scenario in which a quarterback is in a passing posture with one or both feet on the ground. In that situation, no defensive player rushing unabated can hit him forcibly at or below the knee. The defensive player also may not initiate a roll or lunge and forcibly hit the quarterback in the knee area or below.

    Exceptions for these types of hits occur when:

    the passer becomes a runner, either inside or outside the tackle box;
    the defender grabs or wraps the passer in an attempt to make a conventional tackle;
    the defender is not rushing unabated or is blocked or fouled into the passer.”

    I actually don’t think this will be that hard to enforce. Hits like the one Fairley had on Murray’s knee should be pretty cut and dried. And it’s normally pretty clear whether a QB is in the act of throwing or not. I actually think this is a good rule. We’ll see if there are “unintended consequences” that I can’t think of right now.


    • sorry, should have said “passing posture”, not “in the act of throwing”. But again, I think it for the most part is pretty clear when a guy is in a passing posture vs scrambling.

      The biggest gray area I can see will be the guys who roll into the QB, determining whether that was just due to momentum, or intentional. But again, overall, I think this is a pretty good rule.


      • Cousin Eddie

        Glad you cleared it up. i thought passing situations with the ncaa it meant third and long or when down by more than 3 scores late. Good rule just over due


  3. ncdawg

    So here’s what the defenders have to decide quickly.
    1) Is the QB in a running or passing situation
    2) Will the QB shift and cause an unintentional hit below the knee
    3) Will the QB shift and cause an unintended high hit.
    Small target zone for the rusher don’t you think?
    Fairley’s hit on AM would not fit the criteria because he was being tackled, not in the motion of throwing. Personal foul yes but not by this rule.
    Too much thinking for the refs and defenders and too much second-guessing for the rest of us after the fact(fact being the usual yellow thrown on a UGA defender incorrectly).


    • Not sure I follow your logic on why Fairley’s hit wouldn’t fit the criteria. Murray had just thrown the ball, not sure how you could argue he wasn’t still in a “passing posture”.

      I think part of your opinion is based on the fact that McMurphy didn’t word his tweet very well. It has nothing to do with “passing situations” in the sense that we think of obvious passing downs or whatever. It has to do with the posture of the QB at the time of the hit, and again I think for the most part that’s pretty easy for refs to decipher (feet are set, ball is up, or QB is in the actual act of throwing, etc). And if the QB is truly in a passing posture, he’s not going to be able to shift that much to turn a good hit into a high or low hit.

      As the rule is written, if a QB throws while on the run, this would not apply. That’s the biggest travesty I could see happening is if a QB is scrambling and throwing on the run, takes a hit low, and the refs throw the flag. If that were to happen, especially against our D, then yeah I’ll be pissed. It’s only supposed to apply when the QB’s feet are set, and in a passing posture.


  4. Reipar

    Seems like a good rule and another step towards becoming the nfl light.


  5. Nate Dawg

    Great. Another vandy loss.


  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    The ‘Nick Fairley Rule’?


  7. Awreed79

    It’s ok. I trust the objective judgement of the officials on the field.


  8. What could possibly go wrong here?


  9. Dawg19

    At the :24 mark, the NCAA begins to explain where defenders can hit the quarterback…



  10. Doggoned

    Let’s see: No shots above the shoulders, and now no shots below the knees. We’ve pretty much narrowed it down to the Little League strike zone. Look out for Penn Wagers.


    • Gravidy

      You beat me to it. I was just about to note the same thing. Now, defenders can only hit a QB in a zone about three feet tall – at most. On top of that, they can only hit them in certain ways with certain parts of their bodies. Beyond that, if the defender has a G on his helmet, the refs are free to throw flags as they please. Well, in fairness, that last part was already on the books.