Thursday, July 29, 2004
New NCAA unsportsmanlike guidelines go the extra yard
If it seems that college football is a lot tamer than usual this year, it's no coincidence.
The NCAA Football Rules Committee has asked its officials to crack down on unsportsmanlike conduct, some of which has not traditionally been considered unsportsmanlike. Subject to 15-yard penalties are "acts that demean opponents or the image of the game, while on the field of play."
That was the wording of a news release distributed to the media at the ACC's Operation Football in Greensboro, N.C.
There were a few snickers at a list that included "imitating a slash of the throat, performing a military-style salute, resembling the firing of a weapon, bowing at the waist, punching one's own chest, giving the first-down signal, placing one's hand by the ear" or pretending to take a photo of a teammate.
Tommy Hunt, supervisor of ACC football officials, also said that no "gang signs" would be tolerated.
"What's a gang sign?" Hunt was asked.
"Well, I'm not in a gang," Hunt said, "but I have seen signs that I would consider gang signs."
Another of the changes that will go into effect this year will allow head coaches to call a timeout from the sidelines, as opposed to the signals that previously could be made only by a player. Also, officials in televised games will be allowed to announce the number of a player who commits a penalty.
"That's if we have the number," Hunt said. "We will make every effort to get the number."
Obituaries for Ben Martin, who died