NCAA Announces New Fake Slide Rule After ACC Championship

By Jason Hall

December 10, 2021

Photo: Getty Images

The NCAA is now enforcing new rules against fake quarterback slides after Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett's controversial touchdown run in the ACC Championship Game last Saturday (December 4).

A memo from NCAA national coordinator of officials Steve Shaw obtained by ESPN states that NCAA football officials should interpret a fake slide as a player surrendering, as college football rules a player down on the ground even without contact being made.

"Any time a ball carrier begins, simulates, or fakes a feet-first slide, the ball should be declared dead by the on field officials at that point," the memo states. "The intent of the rule is player safety, and the objective is to give a ball carrier an option to end the play by sliding feet first and to avoid contact. To allow the ball carrier to fake a slide would compromise the defense that is being instructed to let up when the ball carrier slides feet first."

Additionally, the memo confirmed that fake slide plays are not considered a reviewable play.

Pickett fooled defenders on the fake slide to score on a third-down, 58-yard touchdown during the Panthers' first possession of a 45-21 victory against Wake Forest, their first conference title since joining the ACC in 2013.

Pickett was in the area of multiple Wake Forest defenders and looked as if he was preparing to slide before staying in motion and running passed the Demon Deacons players.

The ACC player of the Year said the fake slide was unintentional while addressing reporters after the game.

"I just kind of started slowing down and pulling up and getting ready to slide, and I just kind of saw their body language and they just pulled up as well," Pickett said via ESPN. "... I have never done that before. I just kind of kept going after I initially started to slide."

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