2016 rule book includes new ejection provision
On the Friday before the Super Bowl, Commissioner Roger Goodell suggested a rule that triggers an automatic ejection when a player commits two personal fouls. In March, the owners adopted a rule that didn’t really reflect what Goodell wanted.
The 2016 rule book includes the precise language of the new provision. Specifically, a player will be ejected if he commits before or during the same game any of the following twice: (a) throwing a punch, or a forearm, or kicking at an opponent, even though no contact is made; (b) using abusive, threatening, or insulting language or gestures to opponents, teammates, officials, or representatives of the League; (3) using baiting or taunting acts or words that engender ill will between teams.
For all other forms of unsportsmanlike conduct, the two-violation rule doesn’t apply. However, the 2016 rulebook contains language that removes any and all ambiguity regarding the consequences arising from making contact with game officials.
“Under no circumstance is an official to allow a player to shove, push, or strike him in an offensive, disrespectful, or unsportsmanlike manner,” the rule book states. “The player shall be disqualified from the game, and any such action must be reported to the Commissioner.”
The prior rule book didn’t include the mandatory “shall,” which gave officials as a practical matter some discretion. There is no discretion of any kind now; when a player shoves, pushes, or strikes an official in an offensive, disrespectful, or unsportsmanlike way, he must be ejected.