ACC Championship Football

Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett fakes a slide on his way to a touchdown run against Wake Forest during the first half of the Atlantic Coast Conference championship Saturday in Charlotte, N.C. Chris Carlson/Associated Press

The fake slide Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett used to help clear his path for a long touchdown run in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game is against the rules in college football – effective immediately.

National coordinator of officials Steve Shaw has instructed all officials to blow a play dead at the spot where a ball carrier fakes a slide to cause defenders to back off from making a tackle.

“As far as the fake slide play from the ACC Championship Game, there is concern that QBs could be rehearsing their ‘fake slide’ for their post season game,” Shaw wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Friday.

Shaw said a rule change was not needed and a new rule was not implemented. The change is a new interpretation of the existing rules regarding when to call a play dead.

“I know people think the rule book covers every imaginable scenario, but it does not,” Shaw said. “In a season I will typically have one, two or maybe three of what we call play interpretations.”

“It just usually doesn’t happen this publicly,” Shaw added.

Shaw noted the intent of the slide rule was to protect sliding ball carriers who are deemed defenseless. The ball is spotted where the ball carrier starts the process of the slide.

“Defenders have learned to hold up and back off,” Shaw said. “If we allow the fake slide, the defense may now not hold up, and we could see many unnecessary and dangerous hits to our QBs.”

Shaw said conference coordinators of officials and all officials were notified of the new interpretation and told to inform teams playing in bowl games.

The ban on fake slides is the result of Pickett’s 58-yard touchdown run against Wake Forest last Saturday. Pickett dropped back as if to pass, took off running, and at the Wake Forest 40 dipped his right knee as if he were going to slide to end the play. The move caused a defender in front of Pickett to pull up and briefly stop his pursuit of the quarterback. That allowed Pickett to continue to the end zone.

Pickett acknowledged after the Panthers’ 45-21 win that his fake slide was intentional. Wake Forest Coach Dave Clawson said after the game the NCAA needed to review its rule on slides.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Jim Harbaugh is The Associated Press college football coach of the year after leading the Wolverines to their first Big Ten title in 17 years and a berth in the College Football Playoff.

Harbaugh is the first Michigan coach to win the award, and the first from the Big Ten since Penn State’s Joe Paterno in 2005.

“It’s a tremendous reflection on the entire staff, players,” Harbaugh told the AP. “Everybody shares in it. A rising tide lifts all ships.”

He received 22 of 53 first-place votes and 103 points from a panel of AP Top 25 voters to finish ahead of Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell, who got 16 first-place votes and 88 points.

Baylor’s Dave Aranda was third and Michigan State’s Mel Tucker was fourth. Georgia’s Kirby Smart was fifth with a first-place vote and Utah State’s Blake Anderson was sixth, receiving three first-place votes.

Alabama’s Nick Saban and Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson also received first-place votes.

VIRGINIA: Virginia didn’t have to extend its search for a new football coach beyond the Atlantic Coast Conference as the Cavaliers announced Friday they had tabbed longtime Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott to fill their vacancy.

Cavaliers athletic director Carla Williams announced Virginia was hiring Elliott, who will be introduced at a news conference next week. No details of his contract were released though Elliott earned about $2 million a year at Clemson.

NEVADA: The school hired Oregon co-defensive coordinator Ken Wilson as the Wolf Pack’s new head coach.

Nevada athletic director Doug Knuth announced that Wilson will take over the program after Jay Norvell accepted the head coaching job this week at Colorado State.

Wilson, 57, was the linebackers coach at Washington State for five years before he accepted the same job at Oregon in 2019 and was promoted to co-defensive coordinator for the Ducks this season. Before that, he served as an assistant at Nevada for 19 years, most recently as associate head coach in 2012.

IOWA: Running back Tyler Goodson announced Friday he will declare for the 2022 NFL draft and won’t play in the Citrus Bowl against Kentucky on Jan. 1.

Goodson has led Iowa in rushing the past three seasons. He ran for 1,151 yards and six touchdowns in 2021 and 2,551 yards and 18 touchdowns in his career.

NOTRE DAME: Kyren Williams and Kyle Hamilton, two junior star players for No. 5 Notre Dame, announced they will not play in the Fiesta Bowl against No. 9 Oklahoma State so they can instead prepare for the 2022 NFL draft.

The two were Associated Press preseason first-team All-Americans, running back Williams as the all-purpose player and Hamilton at safety They were also two of Notre Dame’s seven captains during an 11-1 season.

FLORIDA: Defensive end Zach Carter is opting out of the team’s bowl game to begin preparing for the NFL draft.

Carter made his announcement on social media Friday, thanking coaches from two regimes, fans, teammates and relatives.

DUKE: The school is turning to Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko to turn around its football program after a two-year slide and a winless Atlantic Coast Conference record.

The school announced Elko’s hiring Friday night, ending a nearly two-week process to hire the replacement for David Cutcliffe. The school announced Nov. 28 that Cutcliffe wouldn’t return following the first winless league mark of his 14 seasons. Yahoo! Sports first reported that Duke had reached an agreement with Elko.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

AUBURN: The NCAA placed the Auburn men’s basketball program on four years probation for unethical conduct involving former associate head coach Chuck Person and imposed a two-game suspension on Coach Bruce Pearl for failing to monitor his assistant and adequately promote compliance.

The NCAA mostly accepted Auburn’s self-imposed penalties in the case dating back to September 2017, when FBI agents arrested Person as part of a wide-ranging investigation into corruption in college basketball.

A report released by an NCAA Committee on Infractions said Pearl “violated head coach responsibility rules because he did not adequately monitor the associate head coach and failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

(2) NC STATE 89, PITTSBURGH 54: Raina Perez and Camille Hobby scored 15 points each to lead the Wolfpack (9-1) over the Panthers (8-3)in Pittsburgh in the ACC opener for both teams.

OKLAHOMA 99, BYU 91: Madi Williams scored 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Taylor Robertson added 23 points and the Sooners (9-1) beat the Cougars (8-1) in overtime, spoiling Tegan Graham’s 10 3-pointer performance, in Norman, Oklahoma.

(23) OREGON STATE 72, MONMOUTH 58: Talia von Oelhoffen had 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists, Taylor Jones scored 13 and the Beavers (5-2) beat the Hawks (4-4) in West Long Branch, New Jersey.


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