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Pitt Football

NCAA Rule Change Proposals Include the Fake Slide, Targeting Rules and Blocking Below the Waist



When Kenny Pickett scored his infamous fake slide touchdown against Wake Forest in the ACC championship, he changed the course of not only Pitt history but NCAA history.

Pitt would go on to win its first ACC championship in program history, and the NCAA would quickly go on to ban the Pickett slide. Along with other potential rule changes, the NCAA Football Rules Committee approved measures to alter targeting calls, blocking below the waist, fake injuries and fake slides.

Under the current rules, a confirmed targeting call in the second half of a game leads to a suspension in the first half of the following game. Under the proposed changes, the penalty of sitting out the first half of the following game will be eligible for further appeal.

The impacted conference would submit a video of the play to the NCAA national coordinator of officials to review the play, and if a “clearly obvious” wrong call was made, the penalty would be overturned.

With the rise of “fake injuries” over the last handful of seasons, new rules would also involve a reporting and investigation process for teams awarded an injury timeout through deceptive actions.

“Schools and conferences would be able to report questionable scenarios to the national coordinator of officials, who will review and provide feedback to the conference for further action,” the press release shared. “Any penalties levied would be up to the conference office or school involved.”

Under the new NCAA proposal, the following alterations would be made to the rules:

  • Blocking below the waist will only be allowed by linemen and stationary running backs inside the tackle box
  • In the event of a ball carry initiating a feet-first slide, a la Pickett, the runner will be ruled down at the spot of the initiated slide
  • Defensive holding will always result in an automatic first down but stay a 10-yard penalty

While the NCAA rule changes have been proposed, they will not be going into effect until the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Committee approves the notions. The Oversight Committee is scheduled to meet on April 20, and if the new rules are approved, they’ll go into effect in the 2022 season.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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