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Steve Gleason nominated for Congressional Gold Medal, NCAA makes kickoff rule change

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Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Steve Gleason is many things.

Inspiring, insightful and funny, to name just a few.

What he could also be, though, is a Congressional Gold Medalist. There is legislation in the U.S. House and Senate that would honor Gleason with the Congressional Gold Medal for his work with the Gleason Initiative Foundation.

The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor given by Congress.

I don’t know about you, but I’d imagine Gleason is a shoo-in for this. What he’s done for those with ALS is impressive, and how he’s done it is incredible.

Throughout his experience, he’s remained humble, positive and oftentimes finds the funny bone. For instance:

Keep being you, Steve.

NCAA Rule Changes

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved four new rule changes yesterday. The biggest one concerns football kickoffs.

The new rule is this: If the receiving team calls for a fair catch on the kickoff between the goal line and the 25-yard-line, the ball will be placed at the 25-yard-line. So, it’s basically a touchback.

That means the coffin corner strategy of kicking the ball inside the five-yard-line near the sideline—a good strategy for kicking teams—can be countered by a fair catch. That kind of kick now favors the receiving team, because a fair catch at the two gives you the ball at the 25. Previously, a returner would have to field it at the two and try to get past the 15 before getting crushed. Of course, they could have fair caught it before the rule change, but then they’d spend the rest of the season watching from the student section, I presume.

This rule change is meant to reduce the injury risk on kickoffs. Some say kickoffs will be gone altogether in a few years, but I think that will be a harder sell because then you’d get rid of onside kicks.

I usually roll my eyes at some of the rule changes the NCAA makes to college football. I’m not necessarily in favor of this particular rule change, but I understand why the NCAA made it. There is more information available about the dangers of football nowadays, and the NCAA has data it will reportedly be releasing sometime on injuries in football games.

From The Athletic ($):

“That data will be released at some point, and it is expected to break down the types of injuries sustained in games and where/how they occur. It is known, both anecdotally and from data that has already been collected, that the kickoff information to come will not be pretty. There have been devastating spinal injuries — such as those suffered by Rutgers’ Eric LeGrand in 2010 and Southern’s Devon Gales in 2015 — and a higher rate of concussions on kickoffs as well.”

I’m interested in how special teams coaches will strategize, given the rule change.

Panel approves drastic rule change to college football kickoffs | Dr, Saturday
Any kickoff fair-caught inside the 25 can now be considered a touchback.

College football kickoff rule change portends its possible elimination – The Athletic
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