INDIANAPOLIS, IN--The NCAA today recommended that the University of Alabama football team be sanctioned for "gestures and cheers not consonant with the goals and ideals of NCAA athletics."
The announcement came at the suggestion of the NCAA Football Rules Committee as part of their annual offseason review of college football's rulebook. The recommendation follows up on the suggestion put forward by the committee yesterday offering a 15 yard penalty and nullification of a play for taunting during a live play.
In the eyes of committee member Mike Bellotti, the emphasis on in-game taunting was insufficient and unfair.
"The student is as much a part of this as the student-athlete, and if we're going to treat everyone the same it has to include the actions of the fans, as well."
Bellotti and the committee specifically recommended a sanction for Alabama regarding their use of the "Rammer, Jammer" cheer. The traditional cheer includes the chant "We just beat the hell out of you," something Alabama fans have cheered after victories for decades.
How does the committee plan to sanction a non-play action by non-athletes that takes place after the clock?
"It's going to be a 15 yard penalty for each documented chant," said Bellotti in a phone interview Thursday. "The sum will be tallied up on the first possession of the season, effective for the opener on September 4th, 2010 against San Jose State."
The starting field position for the Crimson Tide in the game, if the recommendation is approved by the committee, will be either just south of Gorgas, Alabama or somewhere around Ingram, Alabama depending on the coin toss.
After the news was announced, Las Vegas oddsmakers downgraded the returning National Champion Crimson Tide to a 7 point favorite over San Jose State. Nick Saban, through a university spokesperson, said the University plans to appeal.