NCAA proposes ejecting players who deliver illegal hits

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A college football player who delivers a hit to the head of a defenseless opponent could be kicked out of the game next season under an NCAA proposal that took a step forward on Wednesday.

The NCAA Football Rules Committee said it had unanimously approved strengthening of the penalty for intentional above-the-shoulder hits.

The 15-yard penalty will now have an ejection tacked on, assuming the Playing Rules Oversight Panel approves the plan in March.

Player safety was the theme of the committee’s three-day meeting in Indianapolis, with the ejection for targeting the most noticeable change fans will notice in 2013 across all NCAA divisions. The committee also tweaked the rule on below-the-waist blocks.

Perhaps one of the stranger rule changes, and one Boise State fans surely will notice, would require teams to have either their jerseys or pants contrast in color to the playing field. The Mountain West had barred the Broncos from wearing all-blue uniforms on their blue turf during conference games last season.

OKLAHOMA: Coach Bob Stoops confirmed a big shake-up on his staff, with defensive tackles coach Jackie Shipp and offensive line assistant Bruce Kittle both relieved of their duties.

Stoops has now let three of his assistants go this week. Interior offensive line coach James Patton was hired at Indiana on Monday after getting dumped from the Sooners’ staff.

The moves were prompted by a drop-off in Oklahoma’s performance along the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball in recent seasons. When compounded with the departure of two assistant coaches last off-season, Stoops is enduring the biggest turnover on his staff in his 14 seasons at Oklahoma.

VIKINGS: After leading Minnesota to a surprising playoff berth last season, Leslie Frazier has reached an agreement on a contract through 2014.

The two sides agreed to the deal this week, two people with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The team is expected to announce the agreement on Friday.

The agreement gives Frazier the long-term security he likely was looking for when negotiations opened.


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