NCAA Considering Harsher Celebration Penalties

So, the NCAA is considering harsher celebration penalties, possibly making celebration a live-ball foul instead of dead-ball foul. In essence, this would most strongly punish players that celebrate before they enter the endzone by placing the foul at the point at which the player begins celebrating, thus actually taking a TD away. In other words, if a receiver breaks away for a long TD and begins celebrating at the three-yard line before he enters the endzone, the foul is at the three-yard line, the TD doesn't count, and, presumably, the 15-yard foul means that the new line of scrimmage is at the 18-yard line. The NCAA claims that it wishes to limit players taunting opposing players, so it's unclear whether such a penalty could be called for the usual dancing you see or only overt insulting of opposing players. However, since in the celebration rules there is to my knowledge no distinction between taunting and dancing, we can assume deteriming what kind of celebration is worth a penalty is, as now, up to the ref's discretion.

While I see and admire the purpose of the celebration rules--they make the game more civil and discourage behavior that could lead to fights--I also really dislike them for two reasons. First of all, football is an emotional game and, when someone makes big play, that player is going to celebrate. End of story. Second of all--and this is where I really have a problem with these rules--the refs essentially have to rely on their own judgment when calling these penalties. We often see light celebration punished and more excessive cases go unnoticed.

The new rules would put even more power in the refs' hands. Is that really something fans of college football want in a day and age when we already have to endure weekly games that the refs determine the outcomes of? I guarantee you that it will be no time at all before someone dances as he enters the endzone on a late, potentially game-winning TD, only to find out that the TD has been called back by the refs. Then, the next week, you'll see someone the same thing for another team and get away with it. We don't need that kind of situation.

So, NCAA, if you're listening, please scrap this stupid rules change. For the fans' sake.

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