“It’s hard to legislate integrity.”

So, the NCAA recognizes there’s a problem with players faking injuries to stop play.  The NCAA recognizes that there’s no way for officials to make a determination about the validity of player injuries.  The NCAA knows this looks bad.  The NCAA knows that ultimately this one’s on the coaches.

And the NCAA knows something needs to be done.

The answer, it turns out, is simple: tie it to playing time, since it’s the most valuable commodity to both players and coaches.

Somehow, they manage to get that far, but no farther.

So what would be appropriate to deter bad actors? Two plays? Four? Ten? “Some people said a possession,” Steve Shaw said. “Some went as far as a quarter.”

Ultimately, the rules committee decided there was no magic bullet and tabled legislation. But instead of doing nothing, it opted for a direct warning to coaches: Either you deal with this now or we’ll have to do something.

“We’re going to work with all coaches — and maybe players — to where they see this video and recognize that we’re looking at this very closely,” Steve Shaw said, “and our expectation is that in the 2020 season feigning injuries as an issue in our game will go away, with clear expectations that if players and coaches don’t take care of it, the rules committee then will have to address it and deal with it in some kind of playing time respect. That’s really the only way we think we can get after it.”

Faking injuries will go away because Steve Shaw issued a stern warning?  Uh hunh.  What do you think of that, Mike Gundy?

YOU’LL HAVE to forgive Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy if he rolls his eyes a little bit at this…

“Warning coaches isn’t going to do anything,” he said. “Until they say that if he’s hurt then he’s out for the remainder of the drive, then coaches are going to go into meetings and say, ‘We have to slow their offenses down. I know the rules committee says we need to try this, but the rules committee is not paying my paycheck.'”

When he’s right, he’s right.



Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, The NCAA

27 responses to ““It’s hard to legislate integrity.”

  1. Raphael Lewis

    Missing the remainder of the drive seems like a reasonable starting point. When coaches start sending in walkons/third teamers/etc to fake injury, it will have to be expanded on though…


    • Napoleon BonerFart

      I don’t know about that. It’s a dangerous gamble. Opposing coaches will spot a walk on and run/throw right at him. Is giving up a big play worth saving a time out? I’m interested to see what the coaches think.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Otto

        If you’re trotting a walk on out to fill in for a starter in a situation critical enough for the starter to fake a injury, you likely have more problems than time outs


        • Raphael Lewis

          I don’t know. GT probably has plenty of walk-ons they can run out for a starter without any appreciable decline in performance…

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    The mistake they made here is that they are trying to craft a rule to stop cheating. If, instead, they crafted a rule for player protection and required any player injured badly enough that it stopped play to be examined by medical personnel, and to ensure the doctor was allowed to sufficiently protect the player require a minimum time for medical review – 10 minutes should be sufficient to adequately clear a kid – there would have been no problem.
    Yeaahh, surrre.


    • Granthams replacement

      Agreed. A time element is better than a number of plays.


      • wallybuttsin

        Also with the time element, if your defense makes a great play and you get a turnover before the “cheating” players time is up, they’re still not back in the game!


      • Paul

        Unless TV goes to commercials. In which case you may only miss one or two plays.


  3. The injured player being out for the remainder of the possession should be the answer, period. If we’re concerned about player safety, that’s the only way the medical staff can make sure a player is really cleared to return. This issue is easy to deal with, but the rules committee can’t even deal with that.

    Brian Kelly does not approve of this message.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Russ

      They didn’t mention the teams, but they talked about a game early last season where two defensive players start to go down at the same time, until they notice and then just one goes down. Pretty sure that was our game against ND


    • Bulldog Joe

      With that rule, coaches would just tell a player to cough uncontrollably.

      Too soon?


  4. ASEF

    The answer should be eliminating the dumb ass rule that says one side of the ball gets to determine if subs are allowed are not.

    The “slow the offenses down” thing is complete bullshit. Offenses run to the ball, get ready to snap… and then pick their noses while they figure how to best take advantage of the defensive personnel on the field.

    Here’s an idea in reverse: The defense can signal the ref they are ready, and then ball has to be snapped in 5 seconds. No more offensive advantage. Equal advantage. Best prepared unit wins the play.


    • Good idea – the only problem I see with it is in true hurry-up situations. The defense stands around and gives the signal late in the play clock.

      The rule is appropriate. If the offense doesn’t substitute, it should be able to dictate pace of play. If it’s does substitute, then the defense gets an opportunity to match.

      I am surprised that offenses for teams who are behind or trying to score before halftime haven’t tried to use the same fake injury technique (I don’t remember if the offense is subject to a 10 second runoff if they don’t have a timeout).


      • ASEF

        Let’s say the offense runs a play. It gets stuffed. 2nd and 9.

        Defense quickly lines up and signals ready. Now the offense has to run a play in 5 seconds. Or 7. Whatever. But the defense is forcing play now.

        Watch the offensive “injuries” skyrocket.

        Why does only one side of the ball get to dictate pace of play? Why not fast defense?


        • Interesting thought – I think you would have to expand the play clock time a bit. Let’s say take the play clock down to 20 (half the standard play clock) when the defense gives the “we’re ready” signal. The offense would then need to determine if they wanted to risk substitution because then the defense would be able to match. It would definitely bring some excitement to end of games when an offense with the lead can kneel inside 2 minutes.


  5. Farmer Dawg

    Do away with or change the substitution penalty for defenses. (don’t throw the flag if the player does not effect the play while trying to leave the field)


  6. Another problem is that some coaches encourage it and then, I believe, some players do it on their own. It seems to have all but killed HUNH. This is also why I’ve never been able to take professional soccer seriously.


  7. Russ

    I’m not a fan of the Mullet Man, but he’s been saying sit out the rest of the possession (even if an offensive player is hurt) but he says no one listens to him. I don’t doubt it.


  8. Will it encourage a player to play injured to not sit out then?


  9. TN Dawg

    In my estimation, the players rarely do it of their own accord.

    In this day and age, train cameras on the coaches and it’s a $25,000 fine for the coach first offense, $50,000 for second and three game suspension for the third, which would be at least $250,000 in salary for FBS coaches (something like $1.5 million for Kirby).

    The NCAA would be all too happy to enforce it for the money and nothing will motivate a coach like a monetary penalty.


    • Down Island Way

      See now you’ve changed the whole conversation to cameras and ca$h (that’s some spy gate shit right there now)…thought this whole thing was about student/athlete safety…cramps on a hot fall September day/night are no fun (or any time)…time periods (minutes) as a determent might work, cause when team A is up by 32, don’t think there is feigned injury….but, team B (conference play) is down by 4 with two minutes on the clock and 1/no timeouts there is a possibility of some FEIGNING going down….


  10. macondawg

    Not sure I like the “remainder of the possession” thought. Might work on the defensive side of the ball, but what if the player who goes down (whether intentionally or unintentionally) is a key offensive weapon or critical pass rusher/LB/DB? How many times have you seen the QB, RB, or WR leave the field for 1-2 plays while we wait nervously for their return? Do you want that to be extended for a whole possession? On the possible last possession of the game?

    Maybe there could be an option of the “injured” team taking a TO, or the “harmed” team having choice of a 10-yard penalty or 10-second run-off/add back. Otherwise, I would say the player(s) sit for the lesser of (1) remaining plays in the current 4-down series or (2) next 4 timed plays.


  11. W Cobb Dawg

    So the ncaa is faking a response to fake injuries?


  12. Macallanlover

    This is a great example of how Steve Shaw, who was over his head as head of SEC officials, was promoted to a position where he is even further over his head. What a dummy! The answer is so obvious yet he defers, just like he never stepped up to the problem of SEC officials when he had years to get something done. The guy is a total wimp.

    The author acts like this is a difficult problem because we need to be concerned for the players’ safety. That is exactly the reason why you sit them for the remainder of the drive: to insure the medical staff has an opportunity to assess his condition. They can study him as long as they want, but the time pressure from position coaches is relieved by making him stay a few plays at a minimum. And Shaw cannot figure this out? And was promoted to a higher position? Damn, what a bunch of incompetents in both Indy and Birmingham.