Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Sports

On NFL's agenda: extra points and chop blocks

The NFL's powerful competition committee is recommending making permanent extra-point kicks from the 15-yard line, eliminating all chop blocks and ejecting a player for twice receiving certain unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in a game.

When NFL owners meet next week in Florida, they also will consider such proposals as moving the line of scrimmage up 5 yards to the 25 on kickoff touchbacks, allowing coaches and players to use video rather than just photos on sideline tablets, and expanding the penalties on horse-collar tackles to cover the nameplate on the uniform.

Among the rule proposals that teams will present Monday through Wednesday are several involving video review: allowing three coaches' challenges instead of two even when one challenge fails, expanding what can be challenged to include everything but turnovers and scores, and eliminating overtime in preseason games.

What won't be altered is what constitutes a catch, a subject that often infuriates players and fans.

After Commissioner Roger Goodell suggested during Super Bowl week that player ejections for two egregious fouls would be considered, the committee is suggesting that specific unsportsmanlike conduct penalties could lead to expulsions. Those are:

Throwing a punch or a forearm, or kicking at an opponent, even though no contact is made.

Using abusive, threatening or insulting language, or gestures to opponents, teammates, officials or representatives of the league.

Using baiting or taunting acts or words that engender ill will between teams.

Officials don't need to judge the fouls as flagrant for an automatic disqualification. And it won't necessarily take two fouls for a player to be tossed.

"We do believe officials should be empowered and should not feel ejection is not an appropriate remedy when there is a flagrant foul," said committee co-chairman Rich McKay, president of the Falcons.

Around the NFL

Jets: Cornerback Darrelle Revis, a former Buc, underwent surgery Thursday to repair a torn ligament in his wrist. He'll wear a hard cast for the next two to three months and is expected to be fully healed by training camp in late July.

Broncos: Former Seahawks offensive tackle Russell Okung agreed to a five-year contract.

Cardinals: Former NFL rushing champion Chris Johnson visited the Dolphins, but agreed to terms on a one-year contract to stay with Arizona.

Patriots: Special-teamer Nate Ebner is taking a break from the NFL to attempt to earn a spot with the U.S. Rugby team in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Comments

Thursday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballMurray State at Belmont7 p.m.ESPNUJacksonville State at Morehead State7 p.m.CBSSNWomen: Florida at Arkansas7 p.m.SECWomen: Tennessee at Notre Dame7 p.m.ESPNMinnesota at Maryland8:30 p.m.FS1UNC Asheville at Winthrop9 p.m.ESPNUSt...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Australian Open

Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia —Maria Sharapova ticked off more items on her "to do" list at the Australian Open, returning to center court and accounting for the only person who has beaten her at a Grand Slam since her comeback from a doping ban. The unseeded...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Sports in brief

BaseballFormer Umpire Harvey, known as ‘god,’ dies at 87Doug Harvey, a Major League Baseball umpire for 31 years whose calls of balls and strikes, fair and foul, safe and out were delivered with such gusto and authority that he was known as "God" to ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bruins’ points run reaches 14 games

Bruins’ points run reaches 14 games

BOSTON — David Pastrnak and Ryan Spooner each scored an early goal, Tuukka Rask stopped 21 shots and the Bruins beat the Canadiens 4-1 on Wednesday in Montreal coach Claude Julien’s return to Boston. The surging Bruins have earned at least a point in...
Updated: 1 hour ago

High school scoreboard for Jan. 17

Wednesday’s scoreboardBoys basketballBoca Ciega 62, Clearwater 52Boys soccerPalm Harbor U. 3, Dunedin 0Girls soccerPalm Harbor U. 5, Dunedin 0
Updated: 1 hour ago
Spurs return Leonard to sideline with leg injury

Spurs return Leonard to sideline with leg injury

Kawhi Leonard is headed back to the sidelines, and he’ll stay there until his leg is ready. The Spurs decided Wednesday to shut down their All-Star forward, saying Leonard would be out indefinitely as he continues his recovery from injury. "We didn’t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
QB’s death spurs calls for help

QB’s death spurs calls for help

When Dr. Brian Hainline learned about the apparent suicide of another college athlete, it hit hard. Again. No, he didn’t know Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski. But he has heard such stories far too often. The NCAA’s first chief medical off...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Reports: Brady hurts hand

Reports: Brady hurts hand

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Patriots quarterback Tom Brady jammed his right (throwing) hand at practice Wednesday after accidentally being run into by a teammate, reports said.X-rays revealed no structural damage and Brady should be okay for Sunday’s AFC tit...
Updated: 1 hour ago
HomeTeam 25: Boys basketball rankings for Tampa Bay

HomeTeam 25: Boys basketball rankings for Tampa Bay

1. St. Petersburg (11-1)This week: Friday at Osceola; Saturday vs. Oak Hill (Va.) @Berkeley Prep's National HoopfestThe buzz: The Green Devils returned to action last week, beating Palm Harbor University by 33 and Sickles by 10. Guards Serrel Smith a...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays spring tickets go on sale Friday

Rays spring tickets go on sale Friday

The Rays will put single game tickets for spring training home games on sale Friday at 10 a.m. via raysbaseball.com.The Rays are playing 14 home games in Port Charlotte, starting with the Feb. 23 opener vs. Pittsburgh. Tickets will be available at th...
Updated: 6 hours ago