February 19, 2014 – With the NCAA Rules Committee considering regulations to throttle down the speed of play and put innovation at a disadvantage in the name of safety, the Never to Yield Foundation wondered what other possible regulations might be on the agenda in coming years.
Working through back channel sources we were able to score an interview with Rules Committee second secretary to the first secretary to the second chair Clark Clusterfink who confirmed that a variety of new regulations are up for consideration over the next three years.
“Safety is the main concern,” Clusterfink said. “After money and friendships that is.”
According to Clusterfink there are a wide variety of potential new regulations being considered. Following are some on which he was willing to provide details.
- Blitzing linemen, linebackers and defensive backs will be required to count to four-Mississippi before leaving the line of scrimmage.
“Coach Sab… err… I mean many people were frightened when Greg McElroy was knocked unconscious by a safety who tackled him really really hard. That just isn’t fair. Is that really what people want to see?” Clusterfink noted.
- Kickers who miss more than one field goal in a game will get to take three free penalty shots at the end of the game.
“When kickers miss kicks, they get death threats from their own fans,” Clusterfink said. “That’s about as unsafe as you can get. Maybe if they get some more chances people will forgive them.”
- Missed field goal substitution rule will allow the kicking team to stop play and substitute more athletic players if it appears that the missed kick will be run back for a touchdown. By rule, once the returner establishes a five-yard halo he must immediately stop and allow the kick team 15 seconds to bring faster players onto the field.
“We call this one the Danielson rule,” Clusterfink said. “Gary Danielson was the one who first pointed out the safety issues involved in having nothing but fat guys on the field in a situation like that.”
- The fan in the stands rule will award the team that has its band, majorettes, player parents and player girlfriends shown on television the most during the first 58:30 of the game an additional three points.
“This rule first came up for review as the Manning rule,” Clusterfink explained. “But it was voted down. It will almost surely come up again, though, and I expect it will be renamed the Musburger/Webb Rule. I’m not sure how it promotes safety, really, but we’ve heard folks are sometimes worried about their families in the stands. Got to keep them safe.”
- Holding penalties will be abolished. Offensive linemen will be allowed to grab anything but the facemask to prevent defenders from making tackles.
“This helps two ways,” Clusterfink said. “If players don’t get tackled, they are less likely to get hurt. And it really just evens things out. Some teams have gone for years without getting a holding call even though a blind meerkat could see they were holding on every play.”
- The breather rule will permit teams to take a 20 second water break between plays.
“This is a no-brainer,” Clusterfink commented. “Dehydration is a serious problem.”
- In a further effort to neutralize a team’s speed advantage the personal pace rule would require that all players walk rather than run.
“You’ve got pulled hamstrings to consider,” Clusterfink said. “If everybody walks you’re going to cut those down drastically. This rule will also negate the unfair advantage fast players have over slower ones. That will increase participation. Everybody would be for that.”
- Getting rid of the coin flip and using a rock, paper, scissors duel to determine which team has the call to open the game is another consideration.
“Coins are metal. Somebody could put an eye out with those things flying around. Duh.” Clusterfink said.
- All programs will be required to have at least one nurse or qualified medical professional on staff for each player on the roster. This will make medical hardship processing quicker and will even allow players to be processed off the team during games.
“Obamacare has made it easy for every team to afford this many specialists,” Clusterfink observed. “It gives coaches who have all these injured players some flexibility to manage their roster. Say a particular cornerback gets burned on a few plays. If he’s a three or four star or something, it’s pretty obvious he must be injured. Got to get him off the field and get a five star in his place.”
When asked if he saw any irony in the fact that one of the programs pushing hardest for rules to slow down play in the name of safety also awarded four to five times the amount of medical hardships than any other random program, Clusterfink downplayed the significance.
“We’re talking about preventing real imaginary injuries here, not preventing imaginary imaginary ones to control the team roster,” Clusterfink raged. “Wait, what was the question?”
At this point Clusterfink excused himself and made two cell phone calls, neither of which the Never to Yield Foundation was allowed to hear.
“Okay, it’s like this,” Clusterfink said upon his return. “When a player gets put on a medical hardship it’s probably because he had to play against a team that snaps the ball real fast, and that creates the opportunity for additional injury, aight?”
Clusterfink said the committee is also considering doing away with tackling altogether.
“They want to get rid of that violent aspect for safety purposes, but can’t decide whether flags, one hand touch or two hand touch would be the best alternative. Mr. Emmert is waiting to hear from Coach Saba…errr….. I mean the independent researchers assigned to this project before a decision is made.
“I mean the best thing, really would just be to look at the teams on paper, add up the player star rankings and then declare a winner. That way nobody gets hurt,” Clusterfink added.
All in the name of safety of course.