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If The New Celebration Rule Bites Your Team This Weekend… Blame The Coaches, Not The Refs

New SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw spoke to the quarterback club in Montgomery, Alabama this week and he had one message to share regarding college football’s stiffer celebration penalty — Don’t blame us:

“… Keep in mind, it is not the officials doing this.  It is the coaches.  Not one official is on the rules committee.  The rules are made by the coaches.  This is what they agreed on and how they want the game run.  We are trying to implement the rule they made.”

Sound like a guy who wants officials to have to make more judgment calls?

Shaw was attempting to explain the circumstances that would call for points to be taken off the board due to a player’s on-field celebration.  Basically, if a player celebrates on the field of play prior to scoring, that’s a 15-yard penalty from the spot of the celebration.  Bye bye, points.

Only players on the field of play and involved in the play can draw such a penalty.  So if someone from the sideline rushes onto the field to celebrate, that’s still just a 15-yard dead-ball foul.

But the person doing the celebrating can be any of the 22 players taking part in a play… not just the ball-carrier:

“Say a quarterback throws a long touchdown pass and during the play he runs to midfield and does the throat-slash gesture to the opposing team.  The ball would be returned to midfield and the 15 yards marked off from there.  The touchdown wouldn’t count.”

(Think Shaw had any specific quarterback in mind with that throat slash example?)

So if your team see’s a 50-yard TD bomb turned into a 2nd-&-25 from its own 35 tomorrow, remember who’s to blame — the guy celebrating and the coaches who voted for this ridiculous rule change.  Not the NCAA and not the game officials. 

Literally… the coaches asked for it.



so if it is by any of the 22 players on the field, what would stop a beaten defensive player from doing a celebration just to get a spot foul on the defense to stop a play?


I'm not sure, but I would have to think the rules committee was smart enough to consider that stuff like that might happen. Then again, going on past experience who knows?

I'm surprised that only players on the field can get this penalty. If players run off the sidelines and do all kinds of crazy crap, like they did in the USC-Utah game this week, then isn't that a worse violation of the spirit of the rule than an endzone dance?

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