NFL Taunting: New Rules Can Nix Touchdowns, Impose Other Penalties

Image: NFL Taunting: New Rules Can Nix Touchdowns, Impose Other Penalties Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate.

Friday, 01 Nov 2013 07:52 AM

By Michael Mullins

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New NFL taunting rules might go into effect as early as the postseason and could mirror the NCAA's rules for college football, including nixing touchdowns and imposing other penalties.

The NCAA rules say a player celebrating a score prior to crossing the goal line will have their touchdown taken back and a 15-yard penalty imposed on their team for poor sportsmanship.

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Though its only speculation at this point, the issue was revisited during Monday night's game between the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams, when Seattle's wide receiver Golden Tate, after dodging a missed tackle, began waving to Rams safety Rodney McLeod at the 25-yard line before completing his 80-yard touchdown pass reception.

A flag was thrown by an official before the receiver crossed the goal line, resulting in a five yard loss on the subsequent kickoff, according to NFL.com.

But the touchdown stood.

After the game, Tate apologized for his behavior, calling his actions "immature," and acknowledging that he hurt his team.

"That was immature of me. Hurt my team. I've gotta stay composed. ... Act like I've been there before," Tate told NFL Media's Michelle Beisner. "I gotta apologize to our special teams. I put them in an awkward situation, but more happy to get up and learn from it and move forward."

The Seahawks went on to beat the Rams 14 – 9.

On Tuesday, NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino said he feels the Competition Committee will consider revising the league's taunting rules to make them more like those in college football, NBC Sports' Pro Football Talk reported.

"A lot of people felt that the touchdown shouldn’t have counted [but] a taunting foul is always treated as a dead-ball foul, meaning whatever happened during the play counts, and the foul is enforced on the next play, which would be the kickoff," Blandino said.

"In college, this action would take back the touchdown. Tate started taunting at the 25-yard line. The college rule, that’s enforced at the spot of the foul, so they’d go from a touchdown to first-and-10 at the 40, which would be a gigantic penalty," Blandino added. "The NFL rule, it’s a dead-ball foul, it’s enforced on the kickoff. But I’m sure that’s something that the Competition Committee will look at in the offseason."

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