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Oates Ought to Read the NCAA Rule Book

January 05, 1991

Before he attacks the abilities of NCAA football officials who have gained the highest accolade that a college football official can earn (a major bowl assignment) and who not only got the call right but were where they were supposed to be, watching what they were supposed to be watching, and therefore calling what should have been called, do you think it would have been possible for Bob Oates to at least have read the NCAA football rule book?

According to Mr. Oates, "By definition, it's clipping if the blocker's head is behind the player's body as he makes contact." The 1990 NCAA football rule book (pages FR-34 and FR-35) defines clipping this way:

"Article 1. a. Clipping is a block against an opponent occuring when the force of the initial contact, except against the runner, is from behind. This includes running into the back, or throwing or dropping the body across the back of the leg or legs of an opponent other than the runner, or pushing an opponent in the back (Rule 9-1-1-d) (A.R. 9-3-3-VI VII).

"b. Position of the blocker's head or feet does not necessarily indicate the point of initial contact."

The least Mr. Oates can do is to get the rule right.

NATHAN WEISS

San Diego

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