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#pounditMonday, July 22, 2024

NCAA bans fake slide after viral Kenny Pickett touchdown

Kenny Pickett fakes a slide

During a 45-21 ACC Championship Game victory over Wake Forest, Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett used a fake slide to stop Demon Deacon defenders in their tracks. After they froze, Pickett picked up his feet and scampered into the end zone.

“I just kind of started slowing down and pulling up and getting ready to slide, and I just kind of saw their body language and they just pulled up as well,” Pickett told reporters after the game. “I’ve never done that before. Just kind of kept going after I initially started to slide.”

The 58-yard run immediately went viral. It also called into question the rules that protect quarterbacks and how Pickett had manipulated them to his advantage.

It was a savvy decision based on the rules. It was also undeniably unfair.

Now, the NCAA has decided it will never happen again. National Coordinator of Officials, Steve Shaw, announced on Thursday that game officials are to interpret fake slides as a player surrendering himself. All such plays will be ruled dead and are not subject to review.

“Any time a ball carrier begins, simulates, or fakes a feet-first slide, the ball should be declared dead by the on field officials at that point,” Shaw said in a public memo. “The intent of the rule is player safety, and the objective is to give a ball carrier an option to end the play by sliding feet first and to avoid contact. To allow the ball carrier to fake a slide would compromise the defense that is being instructed to let up when the ball carrier slides feet first. A fake slide will not be considered reviewable under Rule 12-3-3 — Dead Ball and Loose Ball.”

The rule change may not help Wake Forest, but it will prevent similar issues in the future.

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