clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

More on penalties

"Penalties a priority for Pack"

Some teams can overcome a slew of penalties. Amato likes to point to Florida State, his former employer, which once dominated the ACC while almost yearly leading the league in penalty yardage.

Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said penalties can be a misleading statistic, something akin to time of possession. His father, FSU coach Bobby Bowden agreed, saying he recently found an interesting stat about the FSU-Miami series: The team with the most penalties usually won.

"It's got to do with aggressiveness," he said. "If you play aggressive football, when you're on that bubble, you get more penalties. I think it's overstated as far as being a negative."

I'm sure Chuck Amato agrees with Bobby on that last bit, which makes me wonder if things will ever really change. The "if my players are aggressive, I can live with some penalties" philosophy is as well-intentioned as it is indefensible. It's similar to Ozzie Guillen's baserunning strategy: we're going to be aggressive on the basepaths, and if we run into some outs, fine. But the numbers don't bear those positions out; not in NC State's case, and not in the White Sox's case.

Florida State may have dominated the league while committing a lot of penalties, but again, their talent level afforded them those mistakes. And I doubt those dominant FSU teams were as turnover prone as NC State has been over its last 12 games.

Turnovers are bad enough; penalties compound them. That's the point.

"There's a lot of stuff that's correctable," Amato said. "We're doing everything we're capable of to eliminate mistakes. It's time these kids are accountable."

Davis was seen running sprints after a practice. So was Marcus Hudson, penalized for running into Hokies kicker Brandon Pace late in the game.

Mario Williams, while not mentioning any of his teammates by name, said harsher punishment may be needed. An offending player, for example, may have to be benched during a game.

"For a personal foul, especially two of them, drastic measures probably should occur," Williams said. "A personal foul is something you really have to initiate. It's on that person to correct that. Everybody has to take accountability for himself."

Maybe Mario is right. Maybe players should be benched after committing personal fouls. Not for the rest of the game, but anywhere from a few series to a full quarter would be appropriate. While I appreciate the evidence from the article that individuals are actually being punished by Amato, sprints may not be sufficient. Something has got to get the players' attention.

There are no excuses for another flagfest against Eastern Kentucky...we'll see what happens.