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Snyder Not a Big Fan of New Wedge Rule

By Mark Janssen
 
 
Those long kickoff returns you're use to seeing from Kansas State are going to be harder and harder to come by these days.
 
The reason is a 2010 rule change that makes the three-man blocking wedge on kickoffs illegal for safety reasons.
 
"The NFL did a two-year study on the wedge with the finding being that it was a major area of the game where concussions came from," said Phil Laurie, a Big 12 Conference observer and grader of officials. "With the wedge, the kicking team had a designated wedge buster, and the medical people found it was where concussions were taking place."
While saying he understood the "whys" of the rule, Kansas State coach Bill Snyder still says, "I like it better the way it was."
 
Snyder went on to reason that a wedge is also used with punt formations, so, "If you change one, to me, why don't you choose the other."
 
Defined, a wedge was a formation of at least three men who are no more than two yards apart on long kickoffs.
 
"In the old days, you would have guys holding hands. They were that close," said Laurie. "What you're going to see now is teams using two two-man blocking formations, but if they become a four-man formation, it's illegal."
 
Officials will be signaling for an unsportsmanlike penalty, but Laurie says it's really not an unsportsmanlike foul. The penalty will be one of 15 yards, but in most cases, because of the nature of the formation being close to the goal line, it will be a half-the-distance penalty from the spot of the foul.
 
TEBOW RULE: Another new rule in college football is the use of eye black. If used, it must be all black.
 
"It's being called the 'Tebow Rule,'" Laurie said in reference to former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. "There cannot be any writing on the eye black."
 
Part of the image of the former Gator quarterback was to have Bible verses on his eye black. In the Sugar Bowl it was "EPH" under one eye, and "2:8-10" under the other. In the SEC title game, it was "John" and "13:33."
 
This summer, there was controversy on the Florida campus as to whether a statue being constructed of Tebow should be with, or without, eye black.
 
When Reggie Bush was at USC, he put his zip code on his eye black.
 
OTHER AREAS OF EMPHASIS: Laurie indicated that other areas of emphasis included keeping chin straps on helmets snapped and that knee pads are mandatory for all players, but pants do not have to cover the knee in the case of a punter.
 
"Illegal equipment is a charged time out, but officials are going to be giving warnings before making any calls," Laurie said.
 
 
We hope you enjoy K-State Sports Extra. We would like to hear your comments and any story ideas for future emails, so fire them our way. Contact either Mark Janssen at mjanssen7@cox.net, or Kansas State Director of Athletic Communications/SID Kenny Lannou at klannou@kstatesports.com.