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Posts Tagged ‘N.C.A.A. rulebook’

Five New N.C.A.A. Rules Are Felt Early

Each of the five new rules instituted over the summer by the N.C.A.A. were visible over the season’s opening weekend, though no one change more so than the alterations to the existing kickoff rule – kickoffs now take place from the 35-yard line, and instead of being spotted at the 20, touchbacks are now moved up to the 25. When it was first announced, the rule suggested one of two alternatives: teams could either kick it deep, going for the touchback, or kick it high and short, hoping that their coverage squads could get downfield in time to prevent a return from reaching the 25-yard line. So what route did most teams take through the first week of games?

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    Penalties Rock P.S.U.’s Past, Present, Future

    When given no other option, when an error-prone program shows little sign of remorse, waylays an ongoing investigation or hides pertinent facts and figures, the N.C.A.A. assesses penalties focused on the program’s past, present and future. In this vein, Penn State’s penalties fall right in line with those dropped on U.S.C., a recent transgressor against which the N.C.A.A. levied a series of potentially crippling punishments.

    The N.C.A.A. impacts the past by vacating wins; it impacts the present by allowing any current player to transfer without penalty, a wonderful rule, and by levying a postseason ban; it impacts the future by instituting scholarship reductions. Penn State is no different – except in the magnitude of the penalties, which, to cite the buzz word surrounding the ruling over the last 24 hours, were absolutely unprecedented.

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      A.P.R. Scores Viewed at 2014-15 Level

      The latest Academic Progress Rates, released yesterday by the N.C.A.A., uses the baseline of a four-year score of 900 for postseason eligibility. By that standard, all 120 F.B.S. programs – not yet 124 when this data was compiled – earn a passing grade.

      But beginning with the 2014-15 academic year, the baseline to avoid penalties will increase to 930, putting a few F.B.S. programs in danger of suffering one or more of several potential penalties: a postseason ban, a loss of scholarships or a loss of practice time, for example.

      According to the N.C.A.A., an A.P.R. score of 930 equates to a graduation rate of roughly 50 percent. While the current rate of 900 remains in place for the next two years, the increased standard has the potential to impact a handful of B.C.S. and non-B.C.S. conference programs.

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        A 5-Step Program for the N.C.A.A. Violator

        Committing N.C.A.A. violations is easy. All you have to do is, well, commit violations: sell team paraphernalia, meet an agent for lunch, accept cash donations or have a tutor write your research papers, among a whole other laundry list of potential abuses of the N.C.A.A. rulebook. Getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar is slightly more difficult. There have been three major infractions cases involving football programs over the last 24 months: U.S.C., Ohio State and U.N.C. — Boise State, despite letting incoming freshmen players crash on upperclassmen’s couches, indicating to the N.C.A.A. a lack of institutional control, does not belong on this list.

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          Compare and Contrast 3 N.C.A.A. Rulings

          The comparison is inevitable, and only natural. We now have three recent N.C.A.A. rulings at our disposal: U.S.C., from June of 2010; Ohio State, from last December; and U.N.C., with the latter’s Public Infractions Report hitting the wires yesterday afternoon. As a quick reminder:

          U.S.C. Impermissible benefits and amateurism violations stemming from Reggie Bush’s relationship with the financiers behind the now-defunct New Era Sports agency, as well as the school’s failure to report said violations, led the N.C.A.A. to cite the university for a lack of institutional control. As a result, the N.C.A.A. penalized U.S.C. 30 scholarships over the next three years and handed out a two-year postseason ban.

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            Probation, No Bowl and More for U.N.C.

            The description itself is worrisome – it’s a Public Infractions Report, after all – but the news wasn’t all bad for North Carolina. In its summation, the N.C.A.A. gave five reasons why U.N.C. was able to avoid a more stringent series of penalties. One, the school self-discovered the academic fraud perpetrated by a university tutor. Two, the Tar Heels “took decisive action” when John Blake’s violations first came to light. Three, the school “cooperated fully” in the investigation – though the N.C.A.A. did say that neither the tutor nor Blake complied with investigators. Four, the N.C.A.A. was quick to point out that the university was not a repeat violator.

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              The Nuts-and-Bolts Case Against U.N.C.

              It didn’t take years for the N.C.A.A. to issue its ruling in the case of North Carolina, which first came under investigation in the summer of 2010 for allegedly committing a series of rule-breaking missteps: academic fraud and impermissible benefits, for starters, but don’t sleep on the charges of unethical conduct lobbed toward former defensive line coach John Blake. It only took 609 days – a year and change, one year and two-thirds – for the N.C.A.A. to issues its Public Infractions Report, which on face value presents a sizable step back for a program wholly prepared to turn the page on Butch Davis, rules violations and the specter of incoming N.C.A.A. penalties and probation. The impact of the N.C.A.A. rulings will be felt not by those who stepped out of line, but rather on the program’s brand-new staff.

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                Addressing a Few Lingering Rule Questions

                I had a handful of questions for the N.C.A.A. regarding the series of rules passed today by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel. Here they are, followed by the N.C.A.A. response:

                1. Would a player who continues participating in a play after losing his helmet incur a penalty?

                Yes. A helmet-less player who “continues to participate outside of the immediate action” would draw a 15-yard penalty. Similarly, a player who contacts a helmet-less player “outside of immediate action” would draw a 15-yard penalty. Basically, it would not be a penalty if a defender loses his helmet in mid-tackle and continues pulling the ball-carrier to the turf; that would be deemed as part of the “immediate action.”

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.