NCAA guidelines committee recommends 3 adjustments, together with working clock after first downs

On Friday, school soccer leaders took a step towards shortening video games and reducing the variety of performs per sport. It’s a problem that has been prime of thoughts for a lot of years however took on elevated urgency this offseason as the game sits one 12 months away from an expanded 12-team College Football Playoff, which is able to lengthen the season for some groups and improve potential damage exposures for gamers.

The NCAA Football Rules Committee formally really useful the adoption of three rule adjustments, which is able to should be accredited by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel in April. They are the next:

  • A working clock after first downs (just like the NFL), aside from the final two minutes of every half.
  • Banning the usage of consecutive timeouts by a group.
  • Carrying over a foul to the second or fourth quarter moderately than enjoying an untimed down.

What to know concerning the suggestions

The suggestions come after the foundations committee’s annual conferences in Indianapolis this week. The Division I Football Competition Committee additionally gathered this week to debate the subject. These three rule adjustments acquired widespread assist. Other extra dramatic concepts — similar to working the clock after incomplete passes — didn’t have sufficient assist to maneuver ahead at the moment.

Tulane athletic director Troy Dannen, who chairs the competitors committee, informed The Athletic this week that he expects the three mixed rule adjustments to remove seven to 10 performs per sport.

“This is a first step,” Dannen stated.


The challenge of sport size is twofold. College soccer video games are taking too lengthy, far longer than their counterparts within the NFL. And, maybe extra importantly for this dialogue, they common many extra performs per sport.

College soccer video games common about 180 whole performs per sport, in comparison with about 155 within the NFL, in keeping with an NCAA research on the 2022 season (that included particular groups). It’s each a participant security concern with an expanded CFP on the best way and a fan engagement concern as FBS video games common shut to a few hours and half-hour, whereas the NFL common is 3:10.

With that many performs per sport, there are extra alternatives for collisions and accidents. Experts name them “exposures.” Commissioners, maybe most notably the SEC’s Greg Sankey, have been saying for over a 12 months that there are methods to develop the CFP in a secure means by on the lookout for methods to lower exposures.

“It’s not games,” he stated final winter after enlargement talks had initially stalled. “It’s exposures. It’s contacts. So then you think, how can we adjust the game in the modern era to meet a set of different demands?”

ACC commissioner Jim Phillips spearheaded a push over the past 12 months to take a look at school soccer holistically earlier than making adjustments to any specific space. Colloquially, it’s been known as the 365-day overview, and it’s included a take a look at the variety of performs per sport amongst different subjects. Phillips helps the three proposed rule adjustments and stated they’ve assist throughout all 10 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences.

“With the expansion of the Playoff in 2024, a thorough review of options to reduce the overall number of plays has been a high priority among the FBS commissioners,” Phillips stated. “If you’re going to develop the Playoff, it might probably’t be on the identical variety of performs. You need to attempt to dial it again.

“This is the first step. It’s not the only step, but it’s something we hope will be incorporated into the upcoming 2023 football season.”

Why this? Why now?

It’d be basically unattainable for faculty soccer leaders so as to add video games and subsequently receives a commission an entire lot extra money with out doing anything, particularly within the present local weather. Schools and conferences know they should do extra for athletes, whether or not that’s within the type of well being and security protocols or ultimately placing extra money of their pockets.

You can’t ask school soccer gamers to probably play 17 video games in a single season with out doing something to mitigate the dangers related to extra snaps. The three rule adjustments which were really useful gained’t make drastic adjustments — Dannen estimated that they’ll have an effect on seven to 10 performs per sport — however any bit helps. The NCAA continued to tweak its kickoff guidelines to make that play safer till it discovered what labored greatest. This course of may very well be comparable.

Some of those proposals had been thought of a 12 months in the past however didn’t have sufficient assist to cross. What modified? Well, the presidents and chancellors who oversee the CFP formally accredited increasing from a four-team subject to 12.

“That was maybe the straw that broke the camel’s back because now we know for sure there are scenarios where games get added to people’s schedules,” Dannen stated. “Another thing that triggered this was the call from the ACC to take a holistic look at football. We’ve been going over recruiting rules, calendars, the role of coaches and analysts. This was one of the areas, too.”

Dannen stated that there “wasn’t really any support at any level” for the concept of working the clock after incomplete passes.

“We’ll want to examine everything that takes plays out of the game,” Dannen stated. “(Running the clock) would take a lot of plays out of the game — probably 15 or 20. But it’s hard to wrap your arms around when it’s so contrary to how we time the sport of football.”

Dannen expects that the idea will proceed to be examined in addition to every other concepts that come up over the following 12 months.

“The steps we’re taking are measured, in terms of the clock,” stated Georgia coach Kirby Smart, co-chair of the foundations committee. “We’re going to find out a lot this year how much it changes. But I think it’s a smart decision to looking in that direction as we look to take on more games.”

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(Photo: Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

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