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Two most interesting college football rule additions this season

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Greg Burks

ARLINGTON,Texas--The mystery of ‘probably’

Big 12 coordinator of officials Greg Burks thought it would be the first question he would get.

It wasn’t the first question Burks was asked at Big 12 media day, but it was the only topic he discussed that made an ESPN alert: What will be done if a football player makes the ‘Horns Down’ sign?

"Let me put it this way," Burks said. "If you do a ‘Horns Down’ to a Texas player as an opponent, that's probably going to be a foul."

Burks did say, however, if the gesture was made by a player to their home crowd, it would probably not be a penalty.

"Please all of you note, I said 'probably,'" Burks added. "We have to consider intent and consider the situation. We'll leave it to officials."

Blurring the lines

Oklahoma State made waves last fall when the Jumbotron located behind the east end zone in Boone Pickens Stadium displayed several vertical yellow lines mimicking field goal posts as the Texas Longhorns attempted to kick a field goal.

Burks announced a rule that seemed aimed at addressing that incident:

“Persons subject to the rules, including bands, video/audio/lighting system operators shall not create any noise or distraction that prohibits a team from hearing its signals or obstructs play.”

Burks was asked about how the situation in Stillwater would have been handled last season if the new rule were to have been in place and did not offer specifics. He said the new rule was aimed at preventing teams from pushing the distraction envelope further to the point where unfair advantages would be reached.

sports.ed@ocolly.com