Big 12 officials supervisor Walt Anderson reviewed the rules changes coming to college football season that are mostly related to safety: A 15-yard penalty for a helmet that comes off during a play. Protection for kickoff and punt returners and the punter are the highlights.
But Anderson doesn’t just break down tape. As an NFL official since 1996 and has worked two Super Bowls. He’s seen the game change, become faster, stronger and more dangerous, which is why he understands the rules changes in the college game.
“Even the sound of the game has changed,” Anderson said. “I’m in the middle of it, and it’s become more intense. What used to be thump is now a crack.”
Some of the changes:
*Kickoffs from the 35 (from the 30), and touchbacks come out to the 25 (from the 20).
*The kickoff receiver camped under the on-side kick that’s driven into the ground and popped up is protected by a halo and can call a fair catch.
*A 15-yard penalty will be assessed to a player who loses his helmet during a play. Anderson said last season that helmets came off 140 times in games officiated by Big 12 crews.
*No more leaping over a punter protector to block a punt.