College Sports

NCAA bans wedge blocks and eye black with messages

Eye black with messages and wedge blocks will be banned from college football this fall, and taunting in the field of play will start costing teams points in 2011.

On Thursday, the NCAA’s Playing Rules Oversight Panel, meeting in Indianapolis, approved the three rules changes .

One year after the NFL banned wedge blocking on kickoffs because of safety concerns, the NCAA followed the lead. The new rule says that when the team receiving a kickoff has more than two players standing within 2 yards of one another, shoulder to shoulder, it will be assessed a 15-yard penalty. The hope is to reduce concussions.

The taunting rule will create a bigger buzz. Currently, players who are penalized for taunting on their way to the end zone draw a 15-yard penalty on next play.

Beginning in 2011, live-ball penalties will be assessed from the spot of the foul and eliminate the score.

A third change bans the use of eye black containing symbols or messages, a trend that grew in popularity because of the use by Heisman Trophy winners Reggie Bush and Tim Tebow.

Elsewhere

DeMarcus Cousins, the 6-foot-11 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year, announced he is joining the Kentucky underclassmen heading to the NBA. … Ending speculation, Baylor’s LaceDarius Dunn said he will return for his senior season. …

Washington Huskies senior Nick Taylor has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the Ben Hogan Award – college golf’s most prestigious award – for the second straight year.

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