What's the pettiest rule in the NCAA? These 13 ACC football players answered

Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins talks to the media at the ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte on Thursday.

CHARLOTTE — Nobody knows the bureaucratic minefield of NCAA regulations like the players themselves. At this year’s ACC Football Kickoff, we asked 13 player representatives of the Atlantic Division what they thought the single pettiest NCAA rule — on or off the field — was. Here’s what they thought:

Jaylen Samuels, senior all-purpose back, N.C. State

“I’d say the knee pads. I like wearing my pants high, so I think the knee pads over the knees is a petty rule.”

Derwin James, redshirt sophomore safety, Florida State

“Targeting … I’d take it back to the old days, how Sean Taylor and them used to hit. I wish I could hit like that, man.”

Lamar Jackson, junior quarterback, Louisville

“Sometimes you’re broke, people want to offer you a mil and you can’t take it … But, hey, it’s the NCAA rules. And I know I want to play football, so I follow them.”

Bradley Chubb, senior defensive end, N.C. State

“The kid from UCF that couldn’t have the YouTube channel because he was getting paid for it … I think that’s messed up. He’s just trying to be a regular kid and a football player. You’re just taking away from the student-athlete part of it. So that is kinda messed up.”

Eric Dungey, junior quarterback, Syracuse

“It’s the NCAA. They’re going to get what they want. I think (the YouTube channel controversy) is one of the most ridiculous things. If you’re being successful off the field … they’re student-athletes. So why bother? Why stop them?”

Deondre Francois, redshirt sophomore quarterback, Florida State

“Intentional grounding, probably. I like to throw it away.”

Jon Baker, senior offensive lineman, Boston College

“I know they basically own your name, which is interesting, to say the least. That’s what I’ll say to that.”

Christian Wilkins, junior defensive tackle, Clemson

“A lot to do with the parents. I think it’s ridiculous how parents’ experiences cheapen … I don’t think there should be extreme benefits for parents, but the little nuances, where a parent can’t do this or can’t do that or doesn’t have that much access to their kid who they’re sending away to college … I think parents should have more access to their kid and their game-day experience should be a lot better."

Zaire Franklin, senior linebacker, Syracuse

“Not being able to roll up your jersey. What does that really have to do with playing football? If you’re going to hurt your stomach, you’re going to hurt it whether your jersey’s there or not. You don’t wear a pad over your abs.”

Harold Landry, senior defensive end, Boston College

“The targeting rule. I mean, if a receiver is coming across the field, and they’re about to catch the ball, it’s not like I can catch them and lay them down like I’m tucking them in goodnight. You want to try to knock the ball out.”

Tyrone Crowder, redshirt senior offensive guard, Clemson

“They shortened the distance (a lineman can be downfield eligibly) from five (yards) to three-and-a-half. I’m not a big fan of that. On play action, you’ve got to make it look like a run. That was a dumb policy.”

Wendell Dunn, redshirt senior defensive lineman, Wake Forest

“The knee-pad rule. I don’t understand why it matters. Your knee pad has to cover your knees. The first time, they’ll take you out. The second time, it’s a penalty."

Jaire Alexander, junior cornerback, Louisville

“Either not being able to have our shirts out underneath our jerseys — I don’t like that one. I don’t like having to cover up our cleats.”

@chapelfowler, @brennan_doherty and @WillDBryant


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