Miss. junior colleges face NCAA new rules

By Tom Goetz/The Daily Leader

BROOKHAVEN — In 2011, taunting could wipe out a touchdown under the new NCAA rules. It also applies to the National Junior College Athletic Association member schools.

Copiah-Lincoln Community College football coach Glenn Davis said he was pleased to see the taunting rule installed. However, there can be a thin line between a violation and an accidental act.

“The bad thing is it depends on somebody’s (an official’s) judgment,” said Davis. “You always wish the kids would just play and go on to the next play.”

Obviously, taking away a touchdown would be critical. It could change the outcome of a game. The rule would penalize the offending team 15 yards from the point of the foul.

Unsportsmanlike conduct on dead-ball situations will find the 15-yard penalty assessed on the extra point or on the ensuing kickoff.

Another new football rule that will be enforced is a 10-second rundown of the game clock if a team commits a foul that stops the clock in the final minute of both halves. The opponent has three options: Take the yardage penalty and the 10-second rundown. Take the yardage penalty without a 10-second rundown. Decline both the 10-second rundown and the penalty yardage.

“It can be a pretty severe thing when a team is awarded penalty and time,” said Davis. “It will make a difference.”

Efforts to better manage blocking below the waist and enhance player safety are a priority this season. Blocking below the waist will be illegal except on scrimmage plays. Players within seven yards of the center can still block below the waist.

Also, running backs/receivers in the backfield and outside the tackle box — five yards on either side of the center — or players in motion can block below the waist only on players facing them or toward the nearest sideline.

“They have to block north or south or toward the sideline,” Davis said. “They are trying to stop blocking below the waist. The block they are doing away with is the back-side sprint cutoff. When the ball is running away from a receiver, you can’t go across the field and cut a DB (defensive back).”

Another blocking rule of note.

There will be a ban on three defensive players lining up shoulder-to-shoulder and moving forward on place kicks. Coaches on the NCAA Football Rules Committee cited examples of where one offensive lineman is overpowered by three defensive players in an attempt to penetrate the line of scrimmage and block a kick.