Orange Watch: How new NCAA rule changes affect Syracuse football

Moe Neal Western Michigan
Sept. 21 2019; Syracuse NY, USA; Syracuse Orange running back Moe Neal (21) rushes forward during Syracuse's 52-33 win over the Western Michigan Broncos at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Initra Marilyn, The Juice Online.

Item: The NCAA Football Rules Committee in conjunction with the Playing Rules Oversight Panel recently made 11 changes to its rulebook for the 2020 football season. The biggest takeaways involve the committee using common sense and exhibiting a continued desire to quicken the overall pace of the proceedings.

Here’s a look at the rules changes that stand out, and our reaction as it relates to the Orange:

*Instant Replay Review Time – Adopting as a guideline a maximum of 2:00 for instant replay reviews. Exceptions will be allowed in “exceptionally complicated” or end-of-game situations.

Reaction: The average length of time of a Syracuse football game in 2019 was a somewhat respectable 3 hours and 23 minutes, falling within the usual 3 hours and 30 minutes that TV usually allots for a game broadcast. Anything to help keep the clock moving is welcome.

*Targeting / Disqualified Player – Players ejected for targeting will now be permitted to remain in the bench area. Previously, players ejected for targeting had to return to the locker room.

Reaction: The game is so quick and violent there are times when targeting is seemingly unavoidable, and other times more intentional from a lack of tackling fundamentals. Splitting the difference and allowing a disqualified player to remain on the sidelines and support his “Cuse teammates is better than stewing in the locker room.

» Related: Syracuse football once played in Tokyo, Japan

*Official’s Jurisdiction – Extending the official’s jurisdiction prior to kickoff from 60 to 90 minutes, requiring a head coach or assistant coach from each team to be on the field during warm-ups, and identifying each player by number.

Reaction: The goal here is to avoid any pregame yakking among the teams that turns into more than loud voices, from pushing and shoving to downright fisticuffs. All SU players must be wearing their game jerseys with numbers identifiable, and players cannot cross between the 45-yard lines in pregame warmups. Do you think any player would ever challenge Dino Babers or his Consigliore Sean Edinger to back away from trouble?

*Players Numbering – Allowing only two players on the same team to wear the same number. To make up for that limit, and recognizing the popularity of single digit numbers, adding the number “0” as a legal uniform number.

Reaction: A curious mind wants to know who will be the first player in Syracuse football history to wear number “0” for the Orange, and will it happen in 2020?

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About Brad Bierman 848 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.