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Plan offers bigger penalties

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA is considering a crackdown on hits to the head in hockey.

Under a proposal by the sport's rules committee, a hit to the head would carry a minimum five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct or disqualification.

The committee's proposals must be considered by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel in July before being implemented.

Committee chair Forrest Karr, athletic director at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said player safety is "critically important" in college hockey and that players will be "penalized severely" for contact that targets the head and neck area.

Earlier this year, the NHL outlawed blindside hits to the head and recommended that offenders be given a 5-minute major and a game misconduct.