There’s a good piece today from Andy Staples ($$) about how the NCAA is trying to come up with an effective sanction when a football team fakes an injury to slow down the tempo of a game.
This is his starting point:
It seems nothing is easy in college football, and a solution for this is an example. Nobody wants the on-field refs to make the call (for one thing, they can’t see what happens when a player goes to the sideline). An automatic rule to keep out any injured player for an entire series if it led to an injury timeout risks discouraging injured players leaving the field. (“According to Steve Shaw, 81 percent of players who come out of the game in an injury timeout miss at least six plays.”)
Staples says the NCAA appears to be coalescing around a different approach.
A solution may come via the targeting rule. According to NCAA rules, if instant replay is not available, a targeting penalty can be reviewed after the game. That’s where this injury framework could fit.
In this situation, a school or conference could request a review sometime after a game, which would go to Steve Shaw’s officiating committee. That group would then make a determination and recommendation.
As you can guess, the devil’s in the details. What entity enforces the recommendation? What is the nature of the penalty, assuming some body wants to enforce it?
“I would say, in a lighthearted way, we’re still all ears,” Steve Shaw said. “If you’re sitting at home tonight eating dinner and something pops into your head about a creative solution for this, we’re definitely all ears.”
Sounds like a solution is right around the corner.