NCAA faces rule changes and FBI probes

Pitching with Pritch

This spring, and I use that term loosely, has played havoc with track, golf and any other sport played this time of year.  

I have been part of groups that gathered to scoop snow off the football field a couple of times in my years in education, but I saw a college baseball team helping scoop snow off the baseball diamond and that just isn’t right. 

Hopefully Mother Nature will calm down a little and we can get some good weather going to at least finish the high school sports season this year and give the athletes a chance to compete at the highest level possible.

NCAA rule changes

The NCAA made some rule changes that are interesting. 

I know the main idea on one of the changes was made in the name of making the game safer. 

I can understand wanting to cut down on concussions, etc. I got a couple of those in my high school and college football career. I also know that some of you are already nodding your head and saying to yourself or out loud, “Now I know what is wrong with that guy.” 

I had one concussion in high school football and one in college football. But a car accident resulting in me colliding with the rear view mirror and exiting the car with the mirror stuck in my head was the one that ended collision sports for me. 

So the NCAA, in an attempt to make the game safer, changed the kickoff rules somewhat. Starting this season, the receiving team on a kickoff will be allowed to signal for a fair catch inside its own 25-yard line, resulting in a touchback. 

The rule change was the result of a proposal by the Football Rules Committee and approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel as part of an attempt to increase the number of touchbacks and reduce injuries. 

Prior to the 2012 season, kickoffs were moved from the 30-yard line to the 35 and touchbacks resulted in the receiving team starting at its 25-yard line instead of the 20.

A package of rules was adopted in the attempt to make it easier to understand blocking below the waist. 

Notable, the offense will not be allowed to block below the waist more than five yards from the line of scrimmage. Other than interior linemen, all blocks below the waist must be made from the front, which is another attempt at making the game safer and cut down on knee injuries.

There were a few other changes made, but the above changes will probably make the biggest impact on the game.

FBI probe of college basketball continues

The FBI is busy on a national front trying to figure out if Russia interfered with our presidential elections, but they had enough agents left over to probe into NCAA basketball.  

Rick Pinto has been the biggest loser in all of the investigations up to this point as he lost his job of head coach at Louisville. 

Some assistant coaches also lost their jobs and now a couple more schools are mentioned by name—one of them is Kansas. 

The FBI has stated that no coaches are in the probe but people outside the program who funneled funds to player’s relatives, etc. 

The one person that was charged in this indictment was an Adidas executive. Adidas has been part of the other schools that have had problems.  

There hasn’t been any in-depth information released but sources say the two players in question at Kansas are Billy Preston, who never played a game at KU and has gone overseas to play pro-basketball, and Silvio De Sousa, who appeared in 20 games this season as a freshman. 

I am sure that more info will follow.

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