Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ejections Possible after Big Hits

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Ejections Possible after Big Hits

Article excerpt

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- They are the kind of hits that get airtime on "SportsCenter" and earn players reputations as fearsome defenders.

Next season, they also could be the hits that get a player kicked out of the game.

In March, the NCAA approved a rule change that would add an automatic ejection for any defender flagged for targeting a defenseless player above the shoulders.

"Just coming in to blow that guy up is no longer a part of the game," said Doug Rhoads, the Atlantic Coast Conference's coordinator of football officials, at the league's media days Monday.

Rhoads outlined two different types of hits that would cause a player to be ejected, in addition to the standard 15-yard penalty. The first is any tackle where the defender initiates contact with the top, or "crown," of his helmet. The second is any hit where the defender makes contact with a defenseless player above the shoulders.

Officials automatically will go to video review for any ejection, but must find "indisputable evidence beyond all doubt" that the hit was clean to re-instate an ejected player.

Furthermore, if a player is ejected in the second half of any game, he also must sit out the first half of his team's next game.

While the ACC coaches appreciated the effort to improve player safety, most also were wary of how the new ejection rule would be applied.

"It doesn't concern me that I think we're doing the right thing to try and take care of players," Boston College coach Steve Addazio said. "Having said that, I think that, like everything else, when there's change, it's hard. There's going to be guys ejected, I'm guessing. It's hard sometimes to be exact with that. I'm sure there'll be some really controversial moments through the season."

Miami coach Al Golden said he would be in favor of the league reviewing questionable hits on the day after games and applying any suspensions toward the following week. …

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