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Question
My understanding is that a player who voluntarily steps out of bounds remains eligible to receive a pass, on the same play, once he steps back in bounds. Doesn't this put an unfair burden on a defender who must continue to 'cover' such a player?

Answer
Nate
An offensive player that is an eligible receiver  who voluntarily steps out of bounds does not remain eligible to be the first to touch the ball per NCAA Football Rules 7-3-3, 7-3-4.  THe rules states: "No eligible offensive receiver who goes out of bounds during a down shall touch a legal forward pass in the field of play or end zones or while airborne until it has been touched by an opponent or official"  The exception is that this  rule does not apply to an eligible offensive player who attempts to return inbounds immediately after going out of bounds due to contact by an opponent.

Eligibility To Touch Legal Forward Pass
ARTICLE 3.
a. Eligibility rules apply during a down when a legal forward pass is thrown.
b. All Team B players are eligible to touch or catch a pass.
c. When the ball is snapped, the following Team A players are eligible:
 1. Each lineman who is on the end of his scrimmage line and who is wearing a number other than 50 through 79.
 2. Each back wearing a number other than 50 through 79.

Eligibility Lost by Going Out of Bounds
ARTICLE 4. No eligible offensive receiver who goes out of bounds during a down shall touch a legal forward pass in the field of play or end zones or while airborne until it has been touched by an opponent or official (A.R. 7.3.4.I, II and IV).
[Exception: This does not apply to an eligible offensive player who attempts to return inbounds immediately after going out of bounds due to contact by an opponent (A.R. 7.3.4.III)].
PENALTYŚLoss of down at the previous spot

Eligibility Gained or Regained
ARTICLE 5. When a Team B player or an official touches a legal forward pass, all players become eligible (A.R. 7.3.5.I).

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