At some point in the last several off seasons, the topic of removing kickoffs has popped up during the months leading up to the official kickoff of college football.
That's a conversation that continues, this time between the AFCA and NCAA.
According to a report today from Dennis Dodd of CBS, the talk is continuing this off season and the American Football Coaches Association board of trustees and NCAA Division I Oversight Committee have engaged in "preliminary discussions" about taking kickoffs out of college football games.
MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher, who is a member of the oversight committee, explained to CBS that player safety is the main reason behind the discussions:
“Kickoffs are the play where statistically the most concussions and other things will occur. That discussion is coming. It hasn’t come on agenda [formally] yet … I know that’s something that popped. It doesn’t surprise me the least the AFCA is talking about it.”
Newly appointed AFCA executive director Todd Berry believes that there is little doubt that the kickoff is the most dangerous play in football, and notes in Dodd's column that "it looks like the data is skewed where we have more injuries on that play. If that's the case, we have to look at eliminating the play, modifying the play, change blocking schemes."
In 2012, the NCAA moved the kickoffs to the 35 in an effort to increase touchback opportunities and to try and decrease the number of kick returns. The result was that touchbacks doubled. The NFL made the same move in 2011.
The AFCA acts as an advisor to the NCAA Rules Committee, so in order for the discussions to turn into actual rule changes, the NCAA Rules Committee would have the make the final, and official call.