Caulton Tudor

New player ejection rule will be controversial

Posted July 24, 2013
Updated July 25, 2013

— The most important rules change for the 2013 college football season was by far the most discussed by ACC coaches during the league’s Kickoff event earlier this week in Greensboro, N.C.

The new rule dictates that players can be ejected if it’s deemed they intentionally hit a defenseless player above the shoulders.

Such ejections will be accompanied by a 15-yard penalty but any ejection could be overruled if it’s determined by replay booth officials that the on-field verdict was incorrect.

But as North Carolina coach Larry Fedora pointed out, “Even if the player gets to come back a play or two later, that 15-yard penalty can’t be overturned.”

If a player is ejected in the first half and the ruling stands, he’s finished for the game.

If an ejection occurs during the second half, the player has to sit out the remainder of the game plus the first half of his next game.

It’s definitely a rule with teeth, and it’s basically a judgment call. What one official may interpret as an intentional hit could be seen as unintentional by another official.

Had the rule been in place during 2012, almost 200 players nationally would have been booted, including 16 in the ACC.

Stand by for some serious controversy on this one.


If Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd repeats as ACC player of the year, he’ll be the first since Florida State QB Charlie Ward in 1992 and ’93.

In fact, in the entire history of the ACC there have been only four other two-time winners -- Clemson QB Steve Fuller (’77 and ’78), UNC tailback Mike Voight (’75 and ’76), UNC tailback Don McCauley (’69 and ’70) and N.C. State QB Roman Gabriel (’60 and ’61).

It’s interesting that Duke still leads in the all-time league player of the year department with 10. Clemson has produced eight, NCSU seven and Virginia seven.

A Carolina player hasn’t won the award since defender Lawrence Taylor in 1980.


Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said former Durham Hillside High star Vad Lee has as much or more potential as any quarterback he’s had.

“Tremendous kid, tremendous potential,” Johnson said.

A red-shirt freshman in 2012, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound speedster was consistently outstanding as a reserve.
Lee finished with 544 yards rushing (5.7 yards per carry) and nine touchdowns (second best on the team). As a passer, he was 27-of-56 for 596 yards, four TD throws, three interceptions.

“He can be a very, very special player,” Johnson said. “If I had a son, I’d want him to be like Vad. He’s got impeccable character.”

Interestingly, Johnson said his biggest area of concern on offense, defensive or special teams is at wide out.
The Jackets don’t pass frequently but when they do, the result is often an explosion play.

In 2012, Tech averaged almost 18 yards per catch, compared to 10.5 yards for Duke, 13.1 for Clemson and 12.9 for Florida State.

“We’ve got some talent, but we still don’t know how the young guys will react to game-like situations. It’s tougher to make catches in games than practice,” Johnson said.


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  • VT1994Hokie Jul 27, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Good points.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again03 Jul 25, 2013

    I think in most cases, if it is overturned, that just means they determined that the player was not defenseless. But a hit above the shoulders is still a hit above the shoulders. The purpose of reviewing is not to determine whether or not the hit was above the shoulders. It is merely to determine whether or not the player should be ejected.

  • Carameltoe Jul 25, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Are you referring to the Clowney hit against UM? I thought it was clean. Just a good hit where the RB braced for contact, lowered his shoulderes and got absolutely crushed by the larger, faster, better defender. This new rule could be a real detriment to this sport.

    Isn't it also a rule now that the offensive player cannot lead with his helmet either? If so, then that is the only way to curtail "flopping" as Offensive coaches will most surely seek to gain advantage via this change in the rulebook.

  • tweeks3 Jul 25, 2013

    It's Football! It's a full contact sport! This is ! I get the whole helmet to helmet deal, spearing, horse collar, and chop blocking thing. Really football is like enter at your own risk. So if somebody lays the wood on somebody (like you should) expect a 15 yard penalty and a ton of angry fans. Clowney's hit was a textbook tackle face mask right in the numbers with a vengeance. I think the dreads had a lot to do with the helmet coming off. If the NCAA is going to penalize you for solid hard nose hitting football it is really going to change the game. What about kickoffs <SMH> So if you are blocking or going after the ball you are going to have hard hits so expect penalties on every kickoff and a 15 yard penalty. We all know playing Football is a huge risk and that you can get hurt or have a season ending or career ending injury. I don't wish that on anybody but that is just football and always has been. I guess all players on the field will be treated as a QB.

  • usmilewme2 Jul 25, 2013

    View quoted thread

    I AGREE. Football is not a easy sport, its if you leave the field w/out bruise are two did you play. Yes we do need safety fist but here's the think look back years ago when they just played and you will see , a lot has to do w/training and conditioning. Again note safety is important, but this is not a ballet theater. go Pirates!

  • packfan07 Jul 25, 2013

    Ron Cherry, The player was ejected for giving him the business.

  • jmcdow2792 Jul 25, 2013

    It's already a personal foul penalty if called. The 15 yard penalty is already available. The ejection is the addition to this penalty. I don't see it called that much now. With the ejection added, it will likely only be called in the most flagrant of cases. It may even lead to fewer calls. I think we need to wait and see how it works out. I don't see this as big change.

  • grh90 Jul 25, 2013

    So if a player is going low and the offensive player lowers his center like he's supposed to then the defensive players gets ejected. This has gotten out of hand. Safty is paramount but the game still has to be playable and watchable.

  • VT1994Hokie Jul 24, 2013

    Too many of these rules makers are kinda like the writers and the pickers of the preseason polls. Most haven't played nor coached,and became employed at a Newpaper Company, or with the NCAA.

  • coachjim44 Jul 24, 2013

    Season has not even started, and a ACC Ref has already butchered a call. Imagine that!




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