Down and dirty

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.



Filed under College Football, The NCAA

42 responses to “Down and dirty

  1. JaxDawg

    I can’t say I hate the idea of putting in the replay officials hands AFTER the game. Just knowing that it will be looked at and potentially penalized may be enough reduce the frequency of faking.

    As for the penalty…doc the offenders a timeout in the following game. Or maybe a time out and a 15 yard penalty on their next kickoff.

    The faking that needs to be penalized is a team effort, so make it a team penalty.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Godawg

      Make it a SECOND half timeout. That would hurt more…

      Liked by 2 people

      • JaxDawg

        If we want to get really creative and punitive, allow the opponent in the offenders next match up to choose when the timeout is taken away.


        • gastr1

          Why can’t a player who leaves with an injury just have to stay out for the remainder of the series? How hard is that to recognize and manage?

          Liked by 5 people

          • otto1980

            I would argue the next 2 series that their unit is on the field.

            I don’t like put it in the refs hands as they tend to blow call, and if it is after the game even worse. Also taking timeouts during the game seems like it would be up to the refs. If you take away time outs for the next game, how many games are played without taking all 3 time outs in the 2nd half?


    • unionjackgin

      I don’t think taking away a timeout in the next game will be incentive enough. Nor will a 15-yard penalty in the next game.

      The penalty that will be administered after the fact will have to be severe enough that they will not want to get caught so it protects the integrity of the current game.

      I would say that if it is determined that an injury is faked during a previous game then ALL players who in involved in the fake injury (there were two in clip above) will have to sit out a quarter of the next game.

      When start messing with team depth for multiple plays, I think coaches will start to take it seriously.


    • Russ

      Nah, a penalty after the game isn’t a penalty. If we lose the game because the defense was able to stop momentum/substitute as we’re driving for a the winning score, they aren’t going to overturn the game result. They’ll just do some BS “sit out the first half of the next game against Cupcake U” which won’t do anything about it.

      I still say if a player goes down, he sits the rest of the series. You already have players trying to play through injuries. You always have had that. Making this rule won’t make it worse. But it will make coaches have to think twice about faking an injury.

      Liked by 6 people

      • unionjackgin

        I agree but the issue is that these reviews are not going to happen until after the game is concluded which is why I think the only way to adequately penalize a team post-game and deter them for the practice is to affect their depth in the next game.

        Even under the scenario where a team loses a starter or two in the next game might be worth the risk if the current game is big enough and you end up with the win.

        For example, Clemson’s opening game is against UGA this season. They play SC State in week two. Would it really be a deterrent to fake an injury or two or three in order to win a Top 5 match-up but costs you two or three starters against an FCS opponent? Probably not …

        If this is the route they decide to take with a post-game review, then I think the penalty needs to be way stronger than a 15 yarder at the beginning of the next game or a loss of timeout.


  2. Derek

    Taking timeouts away from the next contest could make sense.


    • munsonlarryfkajim

      What if the offense occurs in the national championship game?

      Liked by 7 people

      • miltondawg

        The problem, to me, is that if it is post game and affects the next game then it isn’t a penalty in the game when the injury is faked and when it might affect the outcome. I would just change the rule to say that if the whistle is blown to stop the game for an injury that the player must sit out the rest of that series or, if it occurs in the last two minutes, the remainder of the game.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. TN Dawg

    If a player gets hurt, he/she/xer should be out for the remainder of the series.

    No one argues that concussion protocol discourages players from leaving the field, nor should they argue that this rule change would. We must protect the players for their own good because they are not capable of making adult decisions on their own.

    Also, the NCAA should require each team to have a group of 5 player mommies that stand on the sideline, and any time a player gets hurt the mommies should be able to run on the field screaming “My baby! My baby!”

    This group of mommies should be tasked with sorting out whether the players can return to action and also providing orange slices and juice boxes for the players.

    Further rules should require that every player gets to play (including the skinny, nerd-looking kid) for at least one series.

    The group of mommies should also be able to assign a pink jersey with a giant “P” on the front and back to indicate that this player isn’t allowed to be tackled, but instead will have two fuchsia colored flags velcroed on to the pink jersey which may be pulled off by opposing players in lieu of tacking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dawg100

      Man, you sure know your pink family shades! If you could provide the exact details, (RGB, HEX, RGBA, HSL, HSV etc.) we can take it from here!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. David D

    Simple fix: Every time a player fakes an injury, Florida should lose a scholarship.

    Liked by 15 people

  5. Faking an injury to stop the clock is a time honored tradition in football that begins as early as middle school. These players today are just too obvious about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. TN Dawg

    Or, you could just level the game rules by saying that the right to substitute players doesn’t have to be triggered by and be the prerogative of the offense.

    You could say there is a standard 10 or 15 second window after each play in which the defense may substitute players should they choose to do so before the offense snaps the ball.

    That would obviously need to be accounted for inside the last 5 minutes of each half with some minor tweaking of the play clock/game clock management.


  7. silverbritches02

    I’m definitely in the minority, but I just can’t get worked up about this. Every rule and every call have made it impossible to play defense. Let the defense have this one thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • RangerRuss

      I agree to a point, SB02. Blatant stupidity such as the shit in the above clip and a couple other flops from that particular game need to be penalized fifteen yards. It IS unsportsmanlike conduct and should be subject to replay review.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Got Cowdog

        This ^^
        Fifteen and an automatic 1st down for blatant infractions. Of course, teams will wise up after a couple, they’ll start calling it prior to the snap so it isn’t quite so obvious …

        Liked by 1 person

  8. mwodieseldawg

    Make the team play a man down like they do in soccer until player returns. Unless of course it is obvious the player isn’t faking.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 86bone

    As Ross Perot, my father’s roommate at the USNA, once said, “I can fix this”!
    Obviously there is a timeout on the field when an “injury” is faked. That should be ample enough time for a review. If said player, or players, have been identified, sit them both on the bench for the remainder of the game.
    There has to be a very sharp consequence in order to stop this 🐂💩!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Suspend the coaching staff when it happens. The ND guys were clearly getting a signal from the staff. So don’t let those guys work with the team for a week. Make sure the head coach is included in and the position coach. If it happens again, get the co-ordinator, and so on. Make it so the coaches pay the price and it will stop.


    • Down Island Way

      A new class at nd…acting 101, giving the appearance that you were just shot (not really) with a 30.06, not that willy, nilly bullshit then fall down…or maybe a little burning during urination. Our eyes met across the crowded hat store. I a customer, and she, a coquettish haberdasher….


      • Thats just it – try to enforce this, they will become better actors. In fact, I am sure 2 or 3 guys will have special fake injury practice. Then, if they get a penalty or something, Doctor X writes a medical evaluation stating how the player did in fact twist his pinky, and start going to town on the NCAA. Theres no stopping a well executed fake penalty. Frankly, I’d prefer the “we arent even trying to hide it” mode in some ways. As far as I can guess, sitting out for more than one play is about the best option.


  11. This is just really difficult to enforce. Its gotten worse bc of the advantages to the offense and the desire to slow it down or get a substitute. I dont think there is a great or even good answer per say and a lot of unintended consequences. Its just a bear to tackle.


  12. Scotty King

    Sit the offender for 4 plays


  13. godawgs1701

    So, what’s to stop a team from faking injuries to slow down the offense in the national championship game, then? There’s no tomorrow at that point, who cares if you get a 15 yard penalty or a suspension assessed for your next game? Or the SEC Championship Game? Or a late season game where you need to win to clinch your division and next week is cupcake week anyway?

    Personally, I think the best solution is having a player sit out the entire series if they have to call an injury timeout for that player. If a player is willing to stay in the game just to avoid having to sit the rest of the series, then they aren’t really that hurt. If they think they’d be able to be effective enough two or three snaps later then they’re just not hurt enough to stop the game.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. dawgphan34

    Mailing film to the league office with a strongly worded letter is an SEC tradition.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. ApalachDawg aux Bruxelles

    Zero value in an after the fact enforcement.
    Dude has to sit out the next 5 defensive plays.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Allow game officials and replay both to call unsportsmanlike penalty. Also allow review after the game and punish the true offender where it hurts the most…fine the head coach. This is an integrity of the game issue. Some compromise could be made about providing a fairer way for defense substitutions since HUNH has become such an advantage to the offense.


  17. akascuba

    Looking at the clip several times because it`s funnier knowing we won anyway. My first thought was good tackle even without good form.

    I`m more in the camp of throw a flag similar to targeting and allow the ref in the booth to review the play. If like on the GIF that started this. First down move the chains 15 yards for faking.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. The Decider

    Faking an injury is cheating. The penalty for cheating is d̶e̶a̶t̶h̶ forfeiture.


  19. poetdawg

    If it turns out that it was faking, on review after the game, then the other team should be awarded 7 points retroactively. If that changes the outcome then the records should be changed accordingly. That way, if faking made a difference in the game, the 7 points will rectify the difference. If the loss was by more than 7 points it probably didn’t make a difference. This seems like it is severe enough to discourage the cheating but it is not as severe as a forfeit.

    The should stop this type of faking in a close game and it does not matter in a blowout game. I prefer this remedy, drastic as it is, because it provides a remedy for the team actually harmed by the faking. With regard to some of the solutions above, I do not see why the opponent in the next game should get a windfall based on cheating that occurred in the previous game.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Doggoned

    Occam says: player who goes to ground with injury, real or faked, sits for a series. I like the poster who suggested that if it happens in the final two minutes, that player is done for regulation. Takes the guesswork out of it.


  21. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    “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. “

    That is baloney. A merely tired player may not want to leave, but with a truly injured player it is almost always evident. Players whom are hurting know it, and coaches (counting multiple assistants) know it and want their best healthy players on the field. The struggle in the rules committee is the disingenuous arguments like this that coaches are making. Just bs.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. hialtdawg

    Faking injuries isn’t even a problem. Giving the conference more control over anything when our administration will roll over on any decision for a penny will hurt us down the road. Let one loser once, in a game we won (surprise, surprise we actually beat Norte Dame) flop on the ground. Better than the conference inventing ANOTHER way to penalize us.


    • hialtdawg

      Heyell, if anything it’ll get dudes not faking injuries staying on the field and screwing things up. Name the last National Champion that had to fake an injury to win.


  23. uga97

    Send the high-speed ambulance golf cart onto the field to pickup all injured players. Scoop player and speed off to said “injured” player’s team tent. Problem solved.


  24. Hunkering Hank

    How about an SEC rule where if there is a faked injury you retroactively forfeit the game. We could even litigate it for months on end. “Was he REALLY hurt, Pawl?!?” Shit will stop then. LOL