The least surprising thing you’ll read today

The NCAA, right on cue (h/t):

Down with trickeration!

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UPDATE: 

I think Stacey Osburn needs to weigh in for clarity’s sake.

56 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

56 responses to “The least surprising thing you’ll read today

  1. Greg

    No “trickeration” on that play. He didn’t raise his hand for a fair catch & the whistle apparently did not blow. That play is on Arkansas….

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    • PTC DAWG

      Maybe they should outlaw play action and reverses too…

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      • It’s completely different. A punt returner is considered a defenseless player under the targeting rules. Not excusing Arkansas’s not playing to the whistle. If one of them lit the guy up while he was stationary, the replay officials would have been all over it.

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        • Greg

          And wrongly so, he has a choice to raise his hand or not (defenseless). If he doesn’t, nail his ass….

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          • I hate the targeting rule. It’s either unnecessary roughness or not.

            In this case, under the rules, you have to give the punt returner the halo to field the ball. If you step inside the halo, it’s an interference penalty. If you make contact with a returner who calls for and makes a fair catch, it’s unnecessary roughness. If you hit the returner high, it’s targeting. All of which are 15-yard fouls, and with targeting, ejection.

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            • Greg

              The halo has been there for years (5 yards). Agree with what you are saying, but in this case…no rules were violated. Arkansas just FOCKED up, no need to change the rules imo.

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              • The halo rule doesn’t exist anymore after I looked at it. The returner whether he calls for a fair catch or not has to be given the chance to field a punt cleanly. Any interference is 15 yards.

                Arkansas got faked out and was caught not playing to the whistle. If player safety is important, plays like this shouldn’t be allowed.

                The entire officiating crew should make a signal when they note a fair catch signal has been made. That way no player on the field has an excuse.

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                • Otto

                  If you are going to make a change, bring the halo rule back. Still amazed that was pulled (how do you justify player safety with that?)

                  The other change which could be made. You then have a ref well behind the returner who starts waving his arms once the returner signals fair catch. The gunners can see the ref behind the returner and the ref is not in the line of sight or making a noise to distract the returner. If you have to have another ref have the TV office pull double duty.

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                • I like your thoughts as usual, Otto. When the official (I believe it’s the back judge) identifies the fair catch, he makes a fair catch signal. Move the Center judge to the opposite side from the back judge. He waves his arm as well. With 3 signals, no player on the punt coverage team has an excuse for missing the signal.

                  Bring back the halo.

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                • Otto

                  Agreed we’re on the same line of thought with officiating.

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                • Mick Jagger

                  Good idea

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                • tbia

                  If you outlaw this, then the famous David Greene Play Action turn your back and stand there fake has to be outlawed also.

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                • No, it doesn’t. The play-action pass is part of the game and doesn’t take advantage of another rule (targeting). That play only works if the defensive end collapses when he sees the run action and the defensive back gets caught with his eyes in the backfield. The end just can’t take the shot at the QB unless he has the ball.

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                • Otto

                  Agreed with eethomas further as any decent lawyer will tell you it is all in the clarifying verbiage.

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                • Greg

                  Damn, guess you are right on the halo rule. Use to be 5, then 2 yards. Now it has been abolished. I think they are saying now that the returner needs to have an “unimpeded opportunity” to field it…..right? To me, almost the same thing as giving them 2-5 yards to keep a gunner from teeing off (safety).

                  Damn, wish they would quit changing the rules, worse than the IRS. Thinks they keep doing it to keep people employed.

                  Nonetheless, there is plenty in there now to keep the returner safe imo. Leave the rules as they are now, no need to change them. Arkansas just messed up. If they want to make the game safer, take punting & returns out of the game and make the offense go 4 downs. Kickoffs, start at the 20…..

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            • Otto

              The spearing and unnecessary roughness rules have been on the books for decades and were not properly enforced for decades. The targeting rule was unnecessary. The NCAA created the problem by shockingly not regularly and fairly enforcing their own rules. Then they write a new bad rule rather than correct the problem they created.

              The NCAA creates a rule strictly over enforce it for a year or 2 and then create a new rules in response to more problems. Anyone remember when the horse collar was the rule of the year? Now you see plays every weekend go uncalled that would have been called when the rule was new. They move the kickoff back to get more returns and then realize injuries are up. So they create a new fair catch rule. Why not just move the kickoff to where it originally was?

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        • PTC DAWG

          Thankfully, this report may be false…

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    • Russ

      He did wave his arm below the shoulder, probably just getting set for the catch, but I’ve seen our returns blown dead before for such a move. I think the refs were informed before the play so they weren’t so quick on the whistle.

      But yeah, you knew the NCAA would outlaw this. Some returner was going to get the James Cook treatment.

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  2. PTC DAWG

    Either you call fair catch, or not, I see no way to “fake” it.

    Coverage team got fooled, end of story.

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  3. Got Cowdog

    “Fuckers ain’t got no sense of humor”: Got Sr.

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  4. Go Dawgs!

    What possible harm is there in the UNT punt return? The fact that a big team got embarrassed? They’re going to couch this in some bullshit about player safety, saying that the play is going to get someone who calls fair catch hurt. Well, I say that’s ridiculous. The coverage team simply has to watch the returner. If he doesn’t call for fair catch… drill his ass.

    That play was fun. It’s the sort of thing that’s only going to work for one team every five or six years and then everyone else in the nation will watch for it. Lighten up, Francis. Stupid NCAA.

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    • James Stephenson

      I think because you do not want those gunners destroying the punt returner if they do not see the hand wave. Which I think LSU did one year after they had the same thing happen to them. All they have to do is say the runner gave him self up by not running as soon as he got the ball.

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  5. Cpark58

    “What is that? What are they doing? FUN?! we can’t have that shit. There is no place for that in college athletics! We shall amend the AJ Green no fun rule which states no smiling after touchdowns.”

    They are probably just mad that it is being shared so much because they clearly state that any other use of telecasts or any pictures, descriptions, or accounts of the game without the NCAA’s consent is prohibited.

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  6. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Trying to outlaw it would be the stupidest thing they could waste time with, but they will anyway. They just want to kill the game.

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  7. JasonC

    The NCAA. Enabling stupidity for years to come.

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  8. when your engaged with a blocker and you don’t actually see the hand come up for a fair catch there needs to be a secondary signal that a fair catch has actually been called. Obviously, that can’t be a whistle because that would end the play and not allow for the possibility of a muffed kick but some notice to the gunners seems totally appropriate to me or your going to be choosing between being embarrassed on the ESPN NOT top 10 or being thrown out of the game like James Cook was because he didn’t see the fair catch call. I have no problem with this issue being addressed.

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  9. The play was bush league and designed to take advantage of the focus on targeting. A punt returner is considered a defenseless player. To use that to gain an advantage is a bunch of bull excrement. Shame on Arkansas for not playing to the whistle.

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    • Yurdle

      I agree in the main. Great fake (and legal) but makes every other returner’s job more dangerous. If a gunner can hit until the whistle, then let the fakes continue. But, since we know that won’t be allowed, having a rule that says a returner cannot simulate a fair catch is inevitable and (I think) appropriate.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Uglydawg.

      Agree, ee.
      And if one of them had flattened him, they would have been flagged and ejected.
      It’s not in the spirit of fair play.

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  10. David K

    The whole fair catch rule is designed to protect the returner. It’s a rule built out of the need for player safety. Playing a shell game with a rule of this type goes against the spirit of competition and I agree shouldn’t be allowed. Having gunners blast defenseless returners is the result of BS like this. And then honestly, the best alternative will be when there’s a fair catch called, the ref blows the play dead and the ball doesn’t even need to be caught.

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    • The ball should have to be fielded. The muffed punt is part of the game. The fair catch signal to keep the gunners from pursuing a kick over the returner’s head is a part of the game. The referee shouldn’t blow the play dead just on the fair catch signal.

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    • stoopnagle

      While I don’t like to overreact, your take is the one I’d fall on. I think the NCAA is overreacting in the name of player safety because like the coach said, it’s probably not happening again for a long time.

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  11. tbia

    But fair catches need to go back to what they used to be. Raise the arm and actually wave it a few times…not this one quick one at 3/4 shit that goes on half the time

    Liked by 1 person

  12. SouthernYank

    No more fun of any kind!

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  13. kfoge

    The fake punt was practiced in the offseason. Great article on everything that went into it.
    https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2018/9/16/17864636/north-texas-fake-fair-catch-punt-return-td

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    • kfoge

      The returner even said that the one Arkansas player right in front of him said “why haven’t the refs blown the whistle”

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    • Uglydawg.

      That has a link to is showing FSU doing the same thing back in the 80s, but the video starts with the returner already holding the ball..can’t see if he made a wave or not.
      Lesson…if you’re doing the same questionable stuff as FSU, you need to stop and take a long look at yourself.

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  14. Mick Jagger

    Couldn’t the Ark guys have just touched him for him to be downed?

    Not sure about rule (or my grammar)!

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    • No, he didn’t go to a knee. He caught the punt like he had made a fair catch signal. When the Arkansas players relaxed even though the whistle had not been blown, he took off. If he had taken a knee, the play would have been blown dead. It was great execution … the returner sold the coverage team on it.

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  15. Whiskeydawg

    Maybe they’ll make a rule that says offense and defense from each team must huddle up together. That way, everyone knows the play, there is no tricks or God help us, surprises which would cause us to enjoy this fine sport even more.

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