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College Football/ncca football punting


when can players start to release to cover punt? I thought only gunners, center and upbacks could release before ball kicked. with this rugby style the whole team seems to be running downfield. thank you for your response/


Great question.  Unlike the NFL, in the NCAA the restriction on ineligible players being downfield only applies on passes that cross the line of scrimmage.  It doesn't apply on runs or kicks.  Therefore, on punts, the entire team can go downfield any time after the snap.  

You are correct, in the NFL, that only certain players can head downfield before the ball is kicked.  That, however, is not the rule in the NCAA.

Thanks for the question.

Bill Robers

College Football

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William Robers


I can answer rules questions and officiating questions (including training, mechanics, and general questions).


College Football Official since 2005; assist in training newer officials.

Big Sky Conference Officials Association Sports Lawyers Association Rotary International

Law Degree from University of Minnesota Law School, 2001 MBA from Carlson School of Management at the U. of Minnesota, 2001 B.S. in Business Administration from Marquette University, 1997

Awards and Honors
Post-Season official in 2012 and 2013.

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