Saban: South Carolina spotted kicks last year, too
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP)Alabama coach Nick Saban says his kickers won't use tape to spot field goals and extra points.
South Carolina Steve Spurrier pointed out Tuesday that Alabama's Leigh Tiffin used white tape to spot kicks in last week's game. Spurrier reported it to the Southeastern Conference and said Wednesday he was told by the conference that what Tiffin did was against the rules.
Saban says he didn't know Tiffin was using the tape and says it isn't worth risking a 5-yard penalty. However, he says Tide coaches have found Tiffin wasn't alone in spotting the ball.
"We certainly don't want our players to do anything that's illegal," Saban said. "It is a 5-yard penalty if you do anything to enhance the spot. We've done some research on it, and over half the teams in the league do something with it.
"They put a piece of grass there or a piece of mud or wherever it is, so the kicker knows where the ball's going to be spotted. We even saw verification where last year South Carolina's kicker did it."
Spurrier said after practice Wednesday he was not aware that any of South Carolina's players spotted kicks. "If we did that last year, why didn't they turn us in, if it was illegal?" he said. "Shoot, I'm available to be turned in for anything if it is illegal."
Spurrier earlier stopped short of accusing Alabama coaches of intentionally breaking the rule.
"I heard that was not supposed to happen, you're not supposed to use anything like that," Spurrier said. "I guess Alabama didn't know it was against the rules. They said you're not supposed to use anything to spot the ball there. I don't know if they knew it was illegal or legal but they dang sure did it last week. It looked funny watching the tape. Maybe they thought it was permissible. Maybe the kicker did it on his own. I don't know."
The NCAA rule states that "no material or device shall be used to improve or degrade the playing surface or other conditions and give one player or team an advantage." No penalties can be imposed after the game for an infraction, SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said.
He didn't immediately know if the league had sent anything out reminding SEC coaches of the rule.
The exception is a kicking tee for kickoffs. Otherwise, it is a live-ball foul and a 5-yard penalty.