Skip to main content

Bill Belichick Believes NFL and College Need to Have More Unified Rulebook

Belichick thinks it's too confusing for players, coaches and fans to have to deal with the vast differences in the rulebooks through the different levels of football.

Bill Belichick is a connoisseur of sorts when it comes to the NFL rulebook. He has a knack for finding loopholes in the rulebook, which benefit his team and are often closed up by the league during the ensuing offseason.

With that being said, Belichick thinks there needs to be a more unified set of rules for the pros and college football. Doing that would help create a better understanding of the game for coaches, players and fans.

"Well, I was asked a very general question and I do think that the more those rules can be consistent – I mean, right now, there are over 60 differences between the college and professional playing rules," Belichick said during Friday's video conference with the media. "I think that’s somewhat confusing for fans. In all honesty, the rulebook is difficult for coaches and players at whatever level they play in, just because of the volume of rules and not only just rules, but sometimes examples or what they call case studies. So, it can get kind of complex, as you know from covering it. Sometimes you’ve just got to go in and really read the fine print in there. So, I think the more that we can make it consistent for players and coaches in all leagues and the fans, as well, that that’s a good thing.

"The one thing about the colleges is that they have players at a younger age than we do, so they can train them in certain areas. So, if they’re being trained in those areas and then for us to change the training – things like defenseless players and personal fouls and rules like that, roughing the passer and all that – the more there’s consistency, the more that flows for the training of the player. When you go from one thing in college to the same situation, but now it’s officiated differently at our level, then that can be somewhat challenging and confusing for players until they get adjusted to it and adapt to it, which eventually they will. But, I just think the process could be – or I would like to see the process smoothed out a little bit."

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Belichick is likely not alone on this. One has to imagine it is very frustrating for players, coaches and others that try to grasp the game of football but have to understand a different set of rules for each level of the game. While many of the rules are the same across each level, as Belichick mentions, there are dozens of rules - significant ones too - that are different between high school, college and the pros. 

The NFL and NCAA should take Belichick's advice. But I wouldn't count on that happening. 

Get the latest Patriots news by joining the community. Click "Follow" at the top right of the page. Mobile users click the notification bell. Follow Devon on Twitter @DevClemNFL