NCAA Makes A Few Rule Changes For College Football, Including Targeting Appeals And Fake Injury Timeouts

The NCAA has announced that they have enacted new rules for the 2022 football season. One of the key changes involves an appeals process for targeting calls, but the "Kenny Pickett Rule" and faking injuries for timeouts were also addressed.

In the past, when a player was called for targeting in the second half of a football game, he was suspended for the first half of the following game. Now, the NCAA has decided that schools will have the option to appeal the call on the field. According to the new rule, the conference will submit an appeal to the national coordinator of officials, who would then review the play. If the official believes the targeting call was incorrect, he or she can overturn the call and reinstate the penalized player. This means the player would be available for the next game.

The 'fake injuries' that have caused substantial headaches for some uptempo offenses are getting a small tweak too, according to the NCAA. Schools that believe an opponent has faked an injury to secure an additional timeout may now submit a report regarding the incident to the national coordinator of officials, who will then review it. The official will then send a report to the conference regarding any further action. The new rule states any penalties will be up to the conference.

"We considered all options to address this issue, including allowing both teams an opportunity to substitute after a first down," said David Shaw, chair of the Football Rules Committee and coach at Stanford. "This is another step to consider in the future."

The "Kenny Pickett Rule" has also been clarified now. The former Pittsburgh quarterback had a 58-yard touchdown run in the ACC Championship Game last season, which involved a fake slide. Defenseless quarterbacks who elect to "down themselves" by sliding cannot be tackled once they have initiated the slide. Pickett's fake slide took advantage of this rule and kept defenders at bay so that he could run in for the score.

It was actually pretty cool when it happened, but Pickett's elusiveness forced the NCAA's hand. Now the rule states that anytime a ball carrier simulates a feet-first slide, officials will declare the runner down at that spot.

Finally, blocking below the waist was addressed. The NCAA "will allow blocking below the waist only by linemen and stationary backs inside the tackle box. Outside the tackle box on scrimmage plays, blocking below the waist will be prohibited."


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Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series. Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football "Credit Card Scandal" along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt. Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.