Roy’s Ramble, October 4, 2019

  • Targeting, Helmet-to-helmet and Vontez Burfict.              Targeting is bad.  Taking cheap shots at players heads is bad.  Failing to control your aggression and causing potentially life-changing injuries is something both the NCAA and NFL need to prevent.  But the trouble comes about when they penalize a result or a repeat offender way beyond the actual offense.   You will be hard pressed to find someone to defend Vontez Burfict’s typical behavior and on-field aggression.  He has served multiple suspensions and most of them are well deserved. Suspending him for the remainder of the year for a hit that occurred within the scope of the play seems excessive even given the escaxlating punishments. But his reputation has a major impact here.  Here is a link to Burfict’s hit.   For comparison, take a look at this hit on Green Bay Packer Running Back Jamaal Williams by Eagles’ Derek Barnett.  The hit on Williams was FAR later in the play and completely unnecessary to bring Williams down.  It is hard to understand how the NFL can look at that play and not believe he should have been tossed from the game and suspended. To my eyes, the hit on Williams was much more of the hit you are trying to eliminate, especially since it is not really in the scope of the play.
  • Inadvertent Side-effect of NCAA Redshirting Rule.           People rarely feel that the NCAA has an athlete’s best interests in mind. Yet, when the 4 game participation rule was passed last year for football, it seemed like a good way to balance the interests of the players and the universities by allowing athletes to get a bit of experience without losing an entire year of eligibility.  Unfortunately, from what you are seeing this year, the inadvertent side effects appear to be reaching epidemic proportions.  In the past few weeks, we have had players at Houston and players at Rutgers decide to sit out starting in the middle of the season.  Players are deciding after a “poor” start to the season, a mid-season coaching change or a potential coaching change, that they should “stop” playing until the following year so as not to “waste” a year of eligibility.  This leaves the team and interim coaches in a really difficult situation where players they were relying on now have the ability to decide not to be part of the team.  I am sure that this problem will only grow and ultimately coaches and universities will have to figure out a reasonable (and legal) way to prevent this from happening in the future.  UPDATE OCTOBER 8, 2019: NOW EVEN SPORTS ILLUSTRATED IS COVERING THIS SAME ISSUE!!



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