Kickoffs are violent, and they often cause very serious injuries. In the case of former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, an injury he sustained on a kickoff not only ended his playing career, but significantly altered his life. He's not the first person that this has happened to, but his former coach Greg Schiano would like him to be one of the last.
Schiano has proposed an interesting rule to replace kickoffs. Instead of a kickoff, teams would start in a 4th and 15 situation on the 30 yard like, where they would have the option to punt, which would serve the function of a kickoff, or run a play, which would serve the function of an onside kick. Crazy?
Said Schiano, about his idea: ‘Why do we have to have kickoffs? Just because we've always had them?'
It's a good point. After the most recent lockout, the NHL removed the two-line pass rule. Basketball didn't always have a three-point line and soccer's offside rule has changed numerous times. Why should football be immune?
If someone has a good idea that can improve the safety of a dangerous game, yet produces very similar outcomes, it's something that should be considered. I'm actually a very big fan of Schiano's idea, and I hope it's taken seriously.
Oh, and check out this information about Eric LeGrand's recovery and the Believe Fund.