In a league that loves to name its rules – the Rooney Rule and the Tuck Rule come immediately to mind – the NFL could be getting another not-so-official namesake rule, the Jim Harbaugh rule. Harbaugh is a coach with a personality so boisterous that it can’t always be contained to the sidelines, and the NFL wants to put a stop to it.
“We need to be much more disciplined about where our coaches go in terms of the box,” said Ray Anderson, the league’s director of football operations, told Clark Judge of CBSSports.com. “Venturing out on the field beyond traditional markers is something that is just not appropriate. It can interfere and it can be viewed as intimidating, and we really are going to rein that in.”
The rule, which was already in the NFL rule book but not consistently enforced, won’t officially be named after the 49ers’ coach, but it is serious about reigning in wandering coaches, and it will come with a full set of teeth.
“Coaches can be flagged,” Anderson continued. “It’s about enforcement and point of emphasis. So coaches who, after appropriate warning, continue to venture out will pay the price with a penalty that potentially could hurt heir team.”
If that doesn’t work, Anderson went on to say the NFL where it hurts the most, in their checkbook.