In a new effort to provide even more protection for it’s quarterbacks, the NCAA’s Playing Rules Oversight Panel has just announced a new penalty that will take effect this upcoming 2014 season.
USA Today is reporting that the NCAA’s rules committee has agreed on a new rule in which quarterbacks must be “in a passing posture with one or both feet on the ground”. Also, defenders will no longer be able to lunge (or roll) at the quarterback’s lower body, “below the knee”, at all. These changes are obviously in response to the gruesome leg injuries passers have sustained after throwing the ball, when their legs are planted in the turf and their eyes are down-field.
The penalty for violating this rule will be 15 yards, however, there will be exceptions to when flags will be thrown:
•When the passer becomes a runner, inside or outside the tackle box.
•When the defender grabs or wraps the QB in an attempt to make a conventional tackle
•When the defender is not rushing unabated or is blocked or pushed into the passer.
The rule was originally discussed by the Rules Committee in February, however no immediate action was taken. Since then however, commissioners from all ten FBS conferences have voiced their support of the change. I am sure that the NFL will be watching this experiment closely, although they’d have a much more difficult time getting compliance from it’s defensive players than colleges will.
I can’t imagine defenders are happy to hear about MORE protections being afforded to the offense. I do believe they’re still waiting for word on if chop-blocks by O-linemen can be made into a penalty. Last time I checked, they’ve had their share of knee injuries as well.