A “heightened” emphasis on the rule barring college football coaches from coming onto the field to dispute an official’s call could have a major impact on the Southeastern Conference this year.
Any coach who steps past the white paint on the sideline to dispute a call will automatically be flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and the league’s officials won’t be playing any favorites, Steve Shaw, the SEC’s coordinator of football officials, said Thursday at the SEC’s spring meetings.
“If a celebrity coach comes out, and we don’t flag him, it all falls apart,” Shaw said. “Some coaches may need a personal ‘get back coach.’ ”
The head coaches in the SEC “wouldn’t be where they are if they weren’t intense guys,” but that won’t be an excuse for violating the rule any longer, Shaw said.
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“We had a lot of discussion with our coaches, but they get it,” Shaw said.
Two unsportsmanlike flags will get a coach ejected from the game.
“My hopes is this changes the behavior,” Shaw said.