NCAA approves new rule changes

An NCAA panel approved new rule changes on Thursday that will take place this fall.

The most noticeable change mad by the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel is the option to remove 10 seconds off the game clock if a team commits a penalty in the final minute of a half. Teams will now have the option to take the yardage gained from the penalty and shave 10 seconds off the clock, accepting the yardage only or declining the penalty altogether.

Another rule change is that video monitors will be permitted in the coaches' booths. The monitor will only have access to live broadcasts of the game and will be used to help coaches decide on challenging a call.

Perhaps the most influential change is one that was proposed last April, but will finally be installed at the beginning of the 2011 season - the new taunting rule. If a player is called for taunting before crossing the goal line - i.e. players high-stepping into the end zone or pointing at an opponent - a player will be given a 15-yard penalty at the spot of the foul and the touchdown will be nullified.

The panel also introduced two new changes that aim to make the game safer. The first is that players lined up within seven yards of the center will be allowed to block below the waist anywhere on the field, but now receivers and running backs lined up outside the tackle box will only be allowed to block below the waist if they are blocking straight ahead or toward the nearest sideline. This means that it is a penalty to go inside and block below the waist toward the play.

The other rule change is that if three or more players try to rush one offensive lineman on place kicks, the defensive team will be given a 5-yard penalty.

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