Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Ivy League officials to target hits to head
Ivy League coordinator of football officials Jim Maconaghy says on-field officials will target helmet-to-helmet hits this fall.
Maconaghy said in a conference call Tuesday that the league has "to protect all of our players, and we will continue to do that."
The league announced last month that the presidents of its eight schools had accepted a series of recommendations made by a special committee to try to limit concussive hits in football. The recommendations take effect this season and also limit contact workouts to one during preseason two-a-day workouts.
Cornell coach Kent Austin says it's too early to say what kind of effect the rule changes will have.
"I don't think anybody right now has a crystal ball and can say for certain that the quality of play on the football field is going to go down as a result of these rules changes," Austin said. "We'll have to wait and see.
"I will say this -- the rule changes will favor the more veteran teams. I don't think there's any question about that," Austin said. "Teams that have played a lot of football together will benefit. There is a little bit of an advantage, but it's OK. Going forward, I don't think you're going to see as big an impact as some of the outsiders seem to think there will be."
Two-time defending champion Pennsylvania is the preseason pick to win the league again, and coach Al Bagnoli reiterated a longstanding gripe among the league's coaches: The Ivies do not participate in the FCS playoffs, and the coaches would like that to change.
"If you polled our coaches ... we'd be unanimously in favor of going," Bagnoli said. "Obviously, it is not a coach's decision, and to that degree we can't control what (university) presidents and other people are saying. Those are the rules we abide by. We'd like to see it changed, but we understand the scenario that we're in. Hopefully, people will continue to take a look at the issue."
"I think we'd all like to do that," added Brown's Phil Estes. "But that becomes the vote of the presidents. We accept that, but if we could have that opportunity, we'd certainly like to have it."