The NCAA football rules committee has proposed giving replay officials more leeway to overturn targeting penalties and recommended that games reaching a fifth overtime be decided by alternating 2-point conversion tries.
The rules committee met in Indianapolis this week and announced several proposed changes, including tweaks to kickoff and blind-side block rules. The proposals must be approved by the football oversight committee in April. They would go into effect next season.
Two changes to targeting were proposed.
The first would allow replay officials to examine all aspects of the play. If targeting cannot be confirmed, the call would be overturned, eliminating the option for the call on the field to stand. Targeting would still be penalized with a 15-yard penalty and ejection and players ejected in the second half would still sit out the first half of the following game.
The American Football Coaches Association had endorsed changing targeting to a two-tiered foul, with only the most egregious and intentional hits to the head being penalized with an ejection.
Steve Shaw, the national coordinator of football officials, said Friday the replay change will be a “surrogate for Targeting 1, Targeting 2.”
Under the second proposal, players who receive a second targeting foul during the season would be suspended for the entire next game, not just the first half. Steve Shaw said in the two conferences he oversees as coordinator of officials — the Southeastern Conference and Sun Belt — he can recall only one player in each conference receiving multiple targeting penalties in a season.
MURRAY: When Kyler Murray joined the Heisman Trophy club in December, Charlie Ward thought about his initiation in 1993. Back then, the Florida State quarterback was the shiny new star, ready to embark on a world full of options.
Everyone wanted to know if the promising dual-sport phenom could become the next Deion Sanders, the next Bo Jackson or perhaps an even bigger celebrity. His talent was off-the-chart good, and he seemed destined to be a winner wherever he went.
A few weeks later, Ward sealed his fate by working harder on basketball than preparing for the NFL draft.
The former NBA player never regretted that decision and doesn’t believe Murray should either after choosing football over baseball.
“It was calculated and a risk, but it’s what I wanted to do,” Ward told The Associated Press earlier this week. “It’s the same thing I shared with Kyler at the Heisman dinner — when you make your decision, take your time and know there are consequences. I knew I wasn’t probably going to end up getting drafted (by the NFL) because I wasn’t 100 percent committed.”
Murray insisted again Friday at the NFL’s annual scouting combine that he’s all-in on football, assuring Ward he’ll still be the last Heisman Trophy winner to never play a down in the NFL.
If everything goes right this week in Indianapolis, at Oklahoma’s pro day in mid-March and during the first day of the April draft, Murray will have one of the rarest resume lines in sports: First-round draft pick by the NFL and Major League Baseball.
Not even Ward can’t boast about being a two-time first round pick — though he did start for the 1998-99 NBA runner-up New York Knicks.
For Murray, it was an easy call.
“Yes, it’s my final decision,” he told a throng of reporters Friday. “I’m here. I’m ready to go. There’s no turning back.”
COWBOYS: Free agent defensive lineman David Irving has been suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
Irving was suspended the first four games of each of the past two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys. The 25-year-old is set to be an unrestricted free agent after playing just two games on a one-year contract as a restricted free agent in 2018, his fourth year with Dallas.
RAVENS: Baltimore released running back Alex Collins, who led the team in rushing two years ago. Collins was arrested Friday following a car crash near the team training facility. The specific charges were not immediately released by police. Collins led Baltimore with 973 yards rushing in 2017 and scored eight touchdowns in 2018 before a foot injury ended his season in late November.
SALARY CAP: The NFL’s salary cap will jump $11 million next season to $188.2 million. In the ninth year of the 10-year labor agreement, the cap moves up from $177.2 million. It has increased in every year of the contract, with the biggest move in 2015 to 2016, when it went up by just under $12 million. This is the third year out of four in which clubs must reach 89 percent in cash spending, and the NFL Players Association said that four teams are under that threshold: Dallas, Buffalo, Indianapolis and Houston.
MANZIEL: Johnny Manziel could wind up as part of the Alliance of American Football. Or he could not. The new league is in a holding pattern regarding the quarterback who had his contract terminated this week by the CFL.
“We don’t know,” Alliance co-founder Charlie Ebersol said Friday. “We’re trying to get to the bottom of what happened in Canada.”
The AAF is entering its fourth weekend. The San Antonio Commanders would have the first shot at Manziel because he went to Texas A&M, and he would go through the league’s waiver process should the Commanders pass on him.