Category Archives: College

Targeting Rule on Football Rules Committee’s Agenda; Medical Spotters Experimental Rule also to be Discussed

Greg Johnson,

Health and safety in football will lead the agenda when the NCAA Football Rules Committee meets this week.

The committee will discuss possible modifications to the instant replay/targeting rule and will review the experimental rule that allowed medical spotters in the press box during the 2015 season – to consider approving it permanently – during its meeting Feb. 9-11 in Orlando, Florida.

In 2014, the targeting rule was altered to allow the instant-replay official to confirm or overturn a targeting call made by an on-field official. If the replay official found that the targeting penalty should not have been called, the call was overturned, the 15-yard penalty removed and the player allowed to stay in the game.

Committee members plan to talk about whether instant-replay officials should have even more flexibility when it comes to judging whether a targeting foul occurred. Additionally, the committee will consider allowing the instant-replay official to stop the game and enforce a targeting foul that was not detected by the on-field officials.

Last season, conferences were allowed to have a medical observer in the press box monitor the game and alert team personnel when a player might have an injury that is not noticed by the on-field officials or team medical personnel. In the Big Ten and Southeastern conferences’ experiment, the medical observer sat in close proximity  to the instant-replay official and  was authorized to contact the referee  to stop the game so a player could be checked for a possible injury. Other conferences also experimented with using a medical observer and team medical personnel on the sideline in this role.

Other items on the Football Rules Committee agenda will include:

  • Reviewing rules regarding ineligible receivers downfield, focusing on the balance between offense and defense. Part of this effort will be to find ways to help officials call this rule more consistently. Currently, linemen are allowed to be 3 yards past the line of scrimmage.
  • Discussing whether a player who is running the football  and gives  himself up (e.g., slide) should be granted defenseless player protections.
  • Discussing whether computers/tablets may  be used on the sidelines for coaching purposes. Currently, electronic equipment is banned from the sidelines with the exception of devices that are allowed for health and safety purposes.


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February Conussion Litigation Reporter Features Ten Important Stories

What follows is the Table of Contents for the February Concussion Litigation Reporter:

February 2016, Vol. 4, No. 8

Timely reporting on developments and legal strategies at the intersection of sports and concussions—articles that benefit practicing attorneys who may be pursuing a claim or defending a client.


  • Hockey Fighter Derek Boogaard Runs Aground on §301 of the LMRA in Concussion-Related Claim
  • Study, Boycott Brings Focus Back to the Risk of Concussion Associated with Synthetic Fields
  • The NFL Concussion Settlement and the Ethics of Informed Choice
  • New Mexico Lawmakers Scurry to Close ‘Loophole’ that Allowed Parents to Circumvent Concussion Protocol
  • Ontario Introduces Legislation to Establish Concussions Advisory Committee
  • Concussions in Water Polo Continues to be a Significant issue
  • Injured Fan Claims NASCAR Does Not Adequately Protect Spectators, Sues for Damages Relating to Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Retired Players Urge Court to Continue Discovery in NHL Concussion Suit
  • NCAA’s Hainline Talks Concussions and Unresolved Questions
  • Reaction to NCAA’s Concussion Measure

To subscribe, visit

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Concussion Legacy Foundation Thanks Stabler, and Family, for Donating His Brain

From the Concussion Legacy Foundation:

“The Stabler family announced yesterday that Mr. Ken Stabler, who died in July at age 69, was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The diagnosis was made by Dr. Ann McKee at the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank. A football icon, Mr. Stabler was an NFL MVP and quarterbacked the 1977 Super Bowl champion Oakland Raiders.

“The Concussion Legacy Foundation would like to thank the Stabler family for pursuing the study of Mr. Stabler’s brain according to his wishes, and for disclosing his CTE diagnosis. The choice to support CTE research and raise awareness of its debilitating effects is courageous and appreciated. Brain donation is a critical first step in understanding and eventually having treatments for CTE. Families who would like to learn more about brain donation can visit

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