NCAA proposals would enhance player safety

The NCAA Football Rules Committee wrapped up day meetings Thursday by recommending several rules proposals for the 2012 season that are intended to enhance player safety.

The proposed changes include:

*Moving kickoffs to the 35-yard line from the 30 and limiting the running start of the kicking team players to five yards or less, and moving touchbacks on free kicks to the 25-yard line from the 20.

*Making a player ineligible for the next play if he loses his helmet during a play other than by the result of a foul by the opponent (the helmet removal will be treated like an injury).

*Allowing offensive players in the tackle box at the snap who are not in motion to block below the waist legally without restriction.

*Disallowing the receiving team's player from leaping over the shield blocking scheme of the punting team.

*Affording a kick returner additional protection to complete a catch before allowing contact by the kicking team.

"In all of our proposals, we are continuing the annual effort to find ways to make our game safer where we can," Scot Dapp, chair of the committee and athletics director at Moravian College told "Without question, these changes will enhance student-athlete safety and we feel very comfortable based on the data we collected that the impact will be significant."

The recommendations have been sent to NCAA member schools and must be approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which meets via conference call Feb. 21.