The Record Newspapers - Hometown News For Orange County, Texas



Last updated 8/13/2019 at Noon

Whenever an unusual or controversial incident occurs in high school or college football, I have the good fortune of having a former football referee and current local high school football radio announcer living right across the street from me.

John Kimbrough, who doubles as the Orange County attorney, has a wealth of knowledge and experience about high school and college football that he is willing to share with me.

Friday afternoon we both were fetching our respective empty garbage cans from the side of the street and visiting about the upcoming football season.

John pointed out that collegiate football will have a few alterations in the rules that were initiated by the NCAA Football Rules Committee that received final approval by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel (PROP).

He said he had an extra copy of these rules changes that I could have.

The first two rules pertained to the controversial targeting matter.

“For a player to be disqualified and the targeting foul to be enforced, all elements of a targeting foul must be confirmed by the Instant Replay Official.

If any element of targeting cannot be confirmed, then the replay official shall overturn the targeting foul.” The targeting rule, since its inception in 2008, has positively changed the student- athlete technique and coaching philosophy.

In some cases, student-athletes were being disqualified without the elements of targeting present, due to instant replay philosophy and education.

This carves out targeting separately and requires the instant replay official to review all aspects of the play due to the significance of the rule and penalty involved.

Another aspect of targeting pertains to the Progressive Penalty Rule.

“If a student- athlete receives a third or any subsequent targeting foul within the same season, that player is disqualified for the remainder of that game and the player would receive an automatic one-game suspension in his team’s next scheduled game.” This change continues the evolution of the targeting rule.

In very few cases, a student-athlete has been disqualified for targeting more than two times in the same season.

Coaches and student-athletes need to review their approach after any targeting penalty.

The third change pertains to illegal wedge formations on kickoffs.

A wedge is defined as two or more players aligned shoulder-to-shoulder within two yards of each other.

“After the ball has been kicked, it is illegal for two or more members of the receiving team intentionally to form a wedge for the purpose of blocking for the ball carrier.

This is a live-ball foul, whether or not there is contact between opponents.

There is no foul if the play results in a touchback, kick out of bounds or fair catch.” The fourth change is about a blind-side block “defined as an open-field block against an opponent that is initiated from outside the opponent’s field of vision, or otherwise in such a manner that the opponent cannot reasonably defend himself against the block.”

Exceptions to this rule is the ball carrier and a receiver in the act of attempting to make a catch.

It is a personal foul if a player delivers a blind-side block by attacking an opponent with forcible contact.

If this action meets all elements of targeting, it is a blind- side block with targeting.

Change No. 5 has to do with overtime scoring where there is no change to the first four overtime periods.

“Beginning with the fifth extra period, a team’s possession series will be one play for a two-point try from the three-yard line, unless relocated by penalty.” This is a small adjustment to the overtime rules to end contests that go past four overtime periods more quickly and with fewer plays.

The sixth change doesn’t take effect until 2020 which states that all officiating crews, including the instant replay official, will be assigned from the same officiating organization (effective Aug. l, 2020).

The seventh and final change pertains to blocking below the waist.

“When the defense is allowed to block below the waist by rule, the block must be directed from the front.

This now lines up with the offensive team’s requirement.” This adjustment will align the rules appropriately for both the offensive and defensive teams.

Some of the future changes proposed by suggest to eliminate the touchback after fumbles out of the end zone, eliminate kickoffs, allow touchdown celebrations, the runner is down by contact, two feet inbounds for catches, start overtime at the 45 yard line, must have a winning record to make a bowl game and expand the College Football Playoff to eight teams.

KWICKIES…It appeared the Houston Astros were going to extend their winning streak to nine games Sunday after they turned a 5-4 ninth inning deficit into a 7-5 lead over the hapless Baltimore Orioles.

Houston hurriedly had closer Roberto Osuno get warm in the bullpen and brought him in to slam the door on the O’s in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Osuna surrendered one run and then with two outs and two strikes on former Astro draft pick Rio Ruiz he threw a change-up that Ruiz planted over the right field wall for a walk-off two-run home run and an 8-7 win.

And while on the subject of the Astros, they really unloaded on Baltimore Saturday night at Camden Yards, winning 23-2, smacking 25 hits with six home runs and a franchise-record 12 extra-base hits.

Rookie sensation Yordan Alvarez slugged three homers and drove in seven runs.

The powerful designated hitter has 17 homers and 55 RBIs in 51 games through Sunday.

And counting his season start at Round Rock, Alvarez has 30 home runs and has driven in an unbelievable 122 runs.

Patrick Reed of The Woodlands lost his third-round lead and came roaring back to overtake Jon Rahm and Abraham Ancer to win the Northern Trust for a one-stroke victory in the first round of the FedEx Cup playoffs.

The 125-man field was reduced to 70 golfers for the second round.

Both Texas NFL franchises came up short in their opening exhibition games last weekend.

The Houston Texans fell just short to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field Thursday 28-26 while the Dallas Cowboys managed just three field goals, losing to the San Francisco 49ers 17-9.

JUST BETWEEN US…Almost every day there is a sports talk show claiming that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick should be talented enough to play with some team in the NFL. But having the necessary talent does not necessarily

guarantee a football player a job. Team owners are more concerned about their players being trustworthy and not a radical misfit. And if a team owner demands that all players stand for the national anthem, then that’s the way it will be. Period!!!


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