ACC Makes Rule Changes for 2017 Football Season

As we enter the hottest days of summer, it’s hard to believe that football players will take to the field for play in just a few short weeks.

ACC_official_holds__down__marker_(game_between_Virginia_Tech_and_Duke_University,_2007)By RadioFan at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

When the Atlantic Coast Conference teams take to the field the coaches will have to be mindful of a new rule. In the past when a college football coach objected to a ruling by one of the officials, they would run out on the field to express their protests…sometimes rather vehemently.

Beginning with the 2017 college football season, coaches will have to remain in the out of bounds area to express their objections. If a coach comes out on the field to object to an officials ruling, that official will throw the flag for a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. If the infraction occurs a second time during the game, there will be another 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and the coach will be – disqualified – ejected from the game.

ACC Coordinator of Football Officiating Dennis Hennigan noted that there are times when a head coach has a legitimate argument over a call of ruling, saying, “our coaches are passionate. It’s an emotional game, and we expect them to react emotionally. All we want is for that to occur on the sideline and to leave the field of play to the players and to the officials.” Adding,” I hope it will be a non-issue.”

In the past the official would issue the coach a warning and escort them back to the sidelines; that will no longer be the case. Beginning this season, there will be no more warnings.

Other rule changes to ACC football in the 2017 season:
Officials will enforce the 20 minute half time rule.

Players will no longer be allowed to jump or hurdle fellow players in order to block a field goal or extra point. The conference sites safety for the players as the reason for the change.

The horse collar rule – grabbing a player by the neck of his jersey – has been expanded to include the nameplate area of the jersey. Grabbing the jersey in the horse collar tackle can cause some serious damage to a player’s neck.

In recent past seasons there has been some issue with tackling players about the legs; however no changes have been made at this time. The ACC will be sending out surveys to the coaches to illicit comments on the matter.

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