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NFL Makes Chop Blocks Illegal, Approves 6 Other Rules

The National Football League announced the implementation of seven new minor rules, including a permanent ban on the chop block, as its spring meeting continues in Florida this week.

Along with the chop block ban, the owners expanded the horse collar rule and permanently affixed the 15-yard-line as the line of scrimmage for point-after touchdown kicks.

Other new rules include making it a foul when a team tries to call for a time out after it has run out of time outs and another permitting coaching staffs to use the coach-to-player communication system both on the field and in the coaches’ booth.

But as ESPN reports, there are a list of more controversial rules the owners and the league have yet to address and they seem to be waiting until the end of the session in Boca Raton, Florida, to take them up.

One rule left for a later time is a proposal to automatically eject any player who receives two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the same game. It is a rule some coaches were not fond of.

“They worry it will lead to more players being ejected,” New York Giants owner John Mara said. “But we don’t look at it that way. I think the effect it will have will be, if a player has one, then that might make him think about it before mouthing off to an opponent again in the same game.”

“I think we have a sportsmanship problem that we have to deal with. This is one option for dealing with it, and it’s not dead yet,” he added.

Others felt the rule might unfairly impact the most aggressive players.

Recently the league also proposed an addition to the “Rooney Rule” aimed at helping the NFL increase its gender diversity by requiring teams to take more applications from women for front office positions. The original ruling in 2003 insisted that teams open doors for more minority candidates for such positions.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com

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