LSU's pre TD celebration penalty - a discussion

It's once again a new era of college football penalties and rules.   We've had the halo rule, we have had celebration rules of all sorts, one is specifically taking off your helmet.   This year we have the "defenseless player" rule, which does have a point of increasing safety.  T Kyle went into detail about punting rules.   In fact, football has more rules than any other sport.  To add to all things with rules, High School, College and Professional football rules are not all the same.   There is a lot to keep up with.   AJ Green was called for excessive celebration against LSU with a call that may have cost us that 2009 game, it certainly didn't help, and in fact, the SEC apologized for a bad call.    These celebration things are hugely, highly, undeniably, very subjective, and furhermore, they can greatly impact a game in terms of momentum.

In 2011 we have a new rule, the "pre TD Touchdown Celebration rule."  Now this rule is a death nail of sorts, because it does something other celebration rules haven't, it takes points of the board.   And it got called for the first time in the LSU vs Florida game yesterday.

Hit the jump for some definitions and video.

 "If the penalty occurs before the play is dead, it is rulled a live ball fould and the penalty is enforced from the spot of the foul (where the player's feet are at the beginning of the act."  Section 2 of the NCAA rulebook, Article 1, Unsportsmanlike Act (Celebration).

So, you do something that a referee believes is celebration, the ball stops right where the celebration began.  Let's look a the LSU punter's TD and his celebration, right around the 40 second mark.

Celebration penalty on LSU punt (via atcjzero)

 

From what I see, the LSU punter merely flared his arms out.    It was a touch of showmanship, but I couldn't help but to think, if I just pulled that off as a punter, I may have done cartwheels into the end-zone.    We are asking kids not to be, well, kids.    I have three problems with this rule.  1)  It is highly subjective  2)  It could literally cost someone a game at some point and 3)  It takes a TD away.   No rule should take a fairly scored TD away.   If the NCAA does in fact believe pre-TD celebrations should be penalized, then do it with yardage on the point after touchdown, or on the kickoff.   But taking a TD away?  That's too much.   

I think the NCAA has gone too far.    Maybe you have a viewpoint that will clear it up for me.  What are your thoughts and ideas on this particular new rule, or perhaps any of the celebration rules?   The greatest player ever, Herschel Walker, handed the ball off to the ref and went about his business.  That's the best way to do it.  However, this is an sport filled with emotion and at some point, aren't we sucking the fun out of it?   Mostly, taking a fairly scored TD away - it just ain't football.    Let me know what you think.

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