National Director of Football Officiating Discusses Ineligible Lineman Downfield [Audio]
Rogers Redding, the NCAA coordinator of football officials, joined Ryan Fowler to discuss the new rule changes in college football for the 2016 season, including the controversial rule of ineligible lineman downfield.
The rule to prevent ineligible linemen from going downfield on passing plays has been, for lack of a better word, a problem for college football officials to call correctly over the past few seasons. Many fans think it's a simple fix, to change the rule to one yard downfield instead of three yards, but Redding told Fowler that it isn't necessarily that simple.
"What we've done from an officiating stand point, we have altered our mechanics a little bit to have the head linesman and the line judge... they're going to have more responsibility for this particular foul than they did before."
Previously, this call was up to the umpire to make the proper call, but now the location of the head linesman and line judge should, in theory, make the call easier for the officials.
Fowler asked Redding if the officials would call the rule stricter this season than last, and Redding gave a confident, "yes."
"We're working very hard at it... I'm very confident, the officials are working on this in the spring right now. T'he officials, just like the players a re workin spring practice the officials are officiating those spring practices... I'm very confident the officials are going to take care of this."
The part of the interview with Fowler and Redding discussing the ineligible lineman downfield is below, and the entire interview, where they discussed many other rules changes in college football this season, can be heard in our podcast center.