Proposed rule change

Years ago I was at a crucial Arkansas-SMU game in Dallas, Late in the game an SMU receiver ran way downfield and stopped suddenly, in a successful attempt to get the Arkansas defender to run into him inadvertently and get a pass interference call. At the time pass interference was a spot of the foul penalty, which resulted in a 40 yard or so penalty and an eventual very disappointing tie for the Razorbacks (after the game a reporter asked B.R. Smith if that was the most disappointing tie ever, and he grabbed the reporter’s neck tie and said that was the most disappointing tie ever :slight_smile: ). That type of egregious behavior, which caused a way too severe penalty, resulted in pass interference being changed to being walked off from the line of scrimmage instead of being a spot of the foul penalty.

I know you can’t read the mind of a defender. But in the National Championship game an Alabama DB was clearly beaten, and to avoid a long completion or most probably a TD, it looked like he intentionally tackled the WR. Which was smart, instead of a TD happening Alabama only incurred a relatively inconsequential mark off from the line of scrimmage. Shouldn’t the refs have discretion to give the defense a spot of the foul penalty if pass interference is something like intentionally tackling a receiver? They have discretion to differentiate between inadvertent face mask pulling and what looks like intentional and hard face mask pulling. Same with running into a kicker.

You didn’t quite remember the SMU scenario. Nathan Jones was running downfield and the SMU receiver intentionally ran up his back to try to get the call; the pass was WAY overthrown and it was in no way interference. (And that was David Lanier’s tie BR grabbed).

1 Like

Thanks for refreshing my memory. Nevertheless, even if it had been a legitimate call, I think the penalty was way too severe (especially since the SMU WR’s only intent was to bait us into the penalty). And apparently the NCAA did too. And I still think the revised and current penalty for deliberately tackling a WR who has you beaten, to avoid a potential TD, is way too lenient.

1 Like

I’d rather underpenalize the defense in that scenario than overpenalize them in the SMU scenario. It’s still 15 and a first down. I think eventually the NFL may follow suit. I read where there was a proposal to do that in 2018 but the NFL competition committee voted 6-2 to leave the rule as is. Maybe at some point that vote reverses.

In my day you could make contact with any receiver anywhere on the field until the ball was thrown. Some defenses were built on never allowing a receiver to get downfield but they changed that rule in think in the 60’s. Most fans I think woud consider 1950’s football extremely boring.

If there was one rule and one rule only, I’d rather underpenalize the defense too. But I think in egregious cases where a DB intentionally tackles a wide open WR, the refs ought to have the option of making it a penalty at the spot of the foul. Or marking the penalty as is currently done but kicking the DB out of the game. Something.

I don’t like the NFL rule. When I see a close call in the end zone on a 50-yard bomb and they get the ball at the goal line, to me that’s unfair. I think the college rule is about right. It’s a spot foul until you get past 15 yards, then stays at 50 yards. I think it also helps the referee call it on a 50-yard pass that might be close. They may not want to give the offense 50 yards on a close call, but give it for 15 yards.

Just for information’s sake, Alabama is among the most penalized teams on pass interference. Saban coaches the cornerbacks and he makes them use their hands and grab when beaten. They are coached to play way past the grey area. For a long time, they got away with murder. It’s called more as players do interview after interview saying they are coached in the way pass interference is called and to err on the bad side. And they do.

Alabama will grab the tight end on the goal line to make sure he doesn’t get into the route. That’s holding. Rarely is it called. Alabama tackled DJ Williams on the goal line over and over. He’ll tell you how Alabama’s defense on the goal line on him was like no other team.

Not much part of the game that Bama doesn’t get away with some holding. But yes they are the most penalized for PI’s. But for every PI called they may get away with 2-3 more in any given game.

I don’t like 50 yard penalties for close calls either. But I also don’t like players purposely incurring penalties because they know the punishment does not fit the crime, it is too lenient. Penalties are supposed to be penalties, not a break for the offending team. When penalties are too weak (especially when it prompts a team to deliberately incur a penalty because the punishment does not fit the crime), or too severe, that’s what often prompts rule changes.

Grabbing a wide receiver is worth 50 yards but earholing him is only 15? Punishment needs to fit the crime.

I would like to see the NFL adopt the college rules for PI. Grabbing a player that has you beat for a possible touchdown, well I have never looked at any other way but “smart football.”

I also remember Timmy Tubberville running a fake punt against us where the outside “gunner” became a receiver. Baited the DB into a PI because he thought he was blocking punt coverage

This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.