New NCAA interpretation will count a fake slide as the end of the play. This comes after a fake slide got University of Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett into the end zone in Saturday’s ACC Championship game against Wake Forest.

“Any time a ball carrier begins, simulates, or fakes a feet-first slide, the ball should be declared dead by the on-field officials at that point,” a memo released by NCAA national coordinator of officials Steve Shaw said. “The intent of the rule is player safety, and the objective is to give a ball carrier an option to end the play by sliding feet first and to avoid contact. To allow the ball carrier to fake a slide would compromise the defense that is being instructed to let up when the ball carrier slides feet first.”

During the ACC Championship, Pickett used a fake slide and went on to run for a 58-yard touchdown. Defenders paused when they assumed Pickett was going down, but Pickett used that time to instead make a cut and run for 40 more yards.

“I just kind of started slowing down and pulling up and getting ready to slide, and I just kind of saw their body language and they just pulled up as well,” Pickett said. “I have never done that before. I just kind of kept going after I initially started to slide.”

Despite criticism from Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson, Shaw says there is no need for a new rule, because the new interpretation of the existing rule clarifies when to call the play dead. The officials of upcoming games have been notified of the change.

 

Read more about:
Listen to the uInterview Podcast!
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!