College football will be starting the 2011 season on Sept. 1 with several new rules in place. We mentioned in an earlier column about the new rules on taunting, some of which have been put on hold for a year by the NCAA.

But for the upcoming NCAA football season coaches, players, referees and spectators will see changes in the rules of the game according to a recent article by

Unsportsmanlike conduct penalties will be treated either as live-ball or dead-ball fouls.

Previously, all unsportsmanlike fouls were treated as dead-ball.

For example, this rule change means that a player who taunts another player before he scores a touchdown would be flagged and the score nullified, plus a 15-yard penalty would be accessed from the spot of the foul.

Another change is the foul for “illegal participation” which resulted in a 15-yard penalty. It has been eliminated and “illegal substitution” will be the name for any infractions of too many players on the field. This will now be a five-yard penalty.

Quarterbacks under fire by an all-out blitz should benefit from a change in the intentional grounding rule. Now quarterbacks can legally ground the ball by simply throwing the football in the area of an eligible receiver, like in the NFL.

And eligible receivers no longer require a “reasonable opportunity to catch” the pass to avoid a penalty. This eligible receiver could be a blocking running back unaware of a pass being thrown in his direction.

Changes also have been made regarding airborne ball carriers and extending the goal line plane.

Players who go airborne voluntarily—like diving for the pylon—or involuntarily (by contact) are now both considered airborne players. The old rule stated that the goal line plane was extended for involuntarily airborne players and not voluntarily ones.

Division I players can now wear gloves of any color and Division II and Division III players will be able to wear gloves of any color in 2012. Gray remains the official glove color for Divisions II and III for one more year.

Beginning Sept. 1 any player will be allowed to wear a towel—towels cannot be larger than 4 x 12 inches, must be white and cannot include words, numbers, symbols, etc., only team or manufacturer logos. In the past, restrictions allowed towels for only certain players or a certain number of players per team.

If a team commits a penalty in the final minute of a half that results in a clock stoppage, the offended team will have the option of taking 10-seconds off the clock plus the yardage, the yardage only or decline the penalty.

Video monitors will be allowed in the coaches’ booths to allow coaching staffs to determine whether they should challenge the call. The televisions will have access only to the live broadcast feed, with no video recorders. The technology, if made available at a stadium, must be provided to both teams.

Blocking changes still allow chop blocking but only the players lined up outside the tackle box—more specifically, those lined up more than 7 yards from the center—will now be allowed to block below the waist anywhere on the field.

Receivers or running backs lined up outside the tackle box will only be allowed to block below the waist if they are blocking straight ahead or toward the nearest sideline. If they go inside and block toward the play, it would be a penalty.

On place-kicks, no offensive lineman can now be engaged by three or more defensive players. A violation will result in a five-yard penalty.

A three-man wedge is prohibited during kickoffs and punts. The penalty will be a 15-yard penalty from the spot of the foul, if non-contact, or from the end of the run if contact is made.
Players will no longer be required to wear pants that always cover the knees.

Some of these rules appear to be a bit picky, but the NCAA is trying to make the game of college football a bit less violent and perhaps prevent some unnecessary injuries.

KWICKIES…The Houston Astros apparently hit a roadblock last week in their run toward a franchise-record 100 losses by reeling off a four-game winning streak and finally getting back on track by losing 6-4 in 11 innings Sunday to the World Champion San Francisco Giants. The Astros also announced they sent 20-year old pitching phenom Jordan Lyles down to Oklahoma City to work in the bullpen and prolong his march towards the team’s 165-inning cut-off point for the season.

After the first two exhibition games, it appears the Lone Star State’s two NFL teams may be heading in opposite directions with the Dallas Cowboys scoring only 31 points while surrendering 43 and splitting the two games. On the other hand the Houston Texans appear to be hitting on all cylinders so far with a 2-0 record, rolling up 47 points and surrendering only 30 with defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ new 3-4 alignment.

Sunset Grove Country Club golfer Jimmy Sims got a hole-in-one on Aug. 7 on the Par-3 No. 12 hole. Jimmy used a seven-iron on the 133-yard hole that was witnessed by Dewey Scott, Pete Sterling and Donnie Mires.

And while on the subject, Pete’s son Scott Sterling earned $1,760 on the Nationwide Tour Midwest Classic last weekend in Overland Park, Kansas. The Orange native had rounds of 68-69-68-69—274 to finish 16 strokes behind tourney winner James Nittles of Australia.
High school football fans have to wait only two more days before the 2011 season begins with Zero Week. Let’s hope a cool front somehow makes it to our area before Friday night.

Four LSU football players put off a meeting with police Sunday about a bar fight in Baton Rouge when they hired an attorney. Quarterback Jordan Jefferson, offensive lineman Chris Davenport, defensive lineman Josh Johns and wide receiver Jarvis Landry had been asked to give their side of the story at police headquarters Monday, but attorney Nathan Fisher arranged a postponement.

Three-time Kentucky Derby winning jockey Calvin Borel was arrested on a drunken driving charge Saturday night and released from the Vanderburgh County (Ind.) jail on $100 bond the next morning. His agent said Borel’s blood-alcohol level tested slightly above Indiana’s legal limit of 0.08 percent when he was arrested.

JUST BETWEEN US… This Korner was saddened to hear of the death of Jim Malcolm Monday morning. Jim was a carpenter who un-retired after the two hurricanes hit our area and could really hit the golf ball a long way for a guy his age. Doctors discovered an aneurism on the back side of his aorta that they tried to repair during an eight-hour operation last week. He was recuperating at his daughter’s home when the aneurism apparently burst.