The NCAA will allow a football coach to challenge one ruling a game by officials and have it reviewed by replay, provided his team has an available timeout. Under a proposal approved Tuesday by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, if a coach's challenge is successful, no timeout will be charged. "This revised proposal achieves the intended result of the rules committee to incorporate a challenge into the video replay system," panel chairman John Cochrane said.
The NCAA allowed the use of video replays at all schools and conferences last season, and nine of the 11 Division I-A conferences used some form of replay. The revision to include the challenge by coaches was proposed by the Football Rules Committee. Before adjusting the rule, only the replay official could request to review plays, often leading to coaches calling a timeout in an attempt to get a play reviewed. Plays involving a sideline, goal line, end zone or end line are reviewable. So are those involving whether a fumble occurred, a pass was completed or the ball broke the plane of the goal line.
Judgment calls such as holding and pass interference are not reviewable. "I've never been a proponent of the whole instant replay thing," USC Coach Pete Carroll said. "This is just another try at getting it right. We'll make the best of it." The panel also approved a revision of the rule on the length of halftime in football. The recommended time is 20 minutes, but it may be lengthened or shortened with the consent of both schools. Among basketball proposals, approval was given to a rule that would bar a player from calling a timeout while falling out of bounds or into the backcourt.