Campus Insider

Halo rule removed from college football

Coaches detested and players disliked it. Fans booed and threw objects on the field, while announcers repeatedly blamed the referees for bad calls.

But like it or not, the halo rule has left college football. A 15-yard penalty for breaking a two-yard ring around the return-man is no longer law.

People remember the image like it was yesterday — Aaron Locket in the Coliseum. The hit. Troy Polamalu barreling down on the defenseless 5-foot-nothing receiver. Sept. 8, 2001 is still fresh in many peoples' eyes.

Polamalu's hit on Locket knocked him out of the game, the halo rule doing nothing to prevent the impact that knocked K-State's leading receiver out of the game.

Fast forward to 2003, and another equally vicious hit was laid upon K-State punt returner Jermaine Moreira against Troy State, his helmet popping off his head while fans waited for flags to fly.

Yet they didn't come, because Moreira failed to call for a fair catch and gave up any protection he may have had.

But according to coach Bill Snyder, the halo rule didn't do anything to benefit college football. In fact, it didn't really do much at all.

"I haven't seen anybody alter, dramatically, what they do in terms of punt or punt-block units," he said. "I haven't seen a wholesale move toward blocking punts, which some said might take place."

The Wildcats have blocked three punts already, but also have the conference's third-leading punt-returner. The result: a potent Wildcat special teams unit.

But that invariably brings thoughts back to Moreira, and what might happen to the true freshman if he doesn't begin protecting himself. According to Snyder, the hit on Lockett might not look so bad.

"I've seen two or three youngsters take some real hits," he said, "that could be more devastating than the one Aaron took out in the Coliseum."

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