Saban: Alabama Won’t Use Tape on Kicks

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP)

— Alabama coach Nick Saban says his kickers won’t use tape to spot field

goals and extra points.

South Carolina Steve Spurrier pointed out Tuesday that

Alabama’s Leigh Tiffin used white tape to spot kicks in last week’s game.

Spurrier reported it to the Southeastern Conference and said Wednesday he was

told by the conference that what Tiffin did was against the rules.

Saban says he didn’t know Tiffin was using the tape and

says it isn’t worth risking a 5-yard penalty. However, he says Tide coaches have

found Tiffin wasn’t alone in spotting the ball.

“We certainly don’t want our players to do anything that’s

illegal,” Saban said. “It is a 5-yard penalty if you do anything to enhance the

spot. We’ve done some research on it, and over half the teams in the league do

something with it.

“They put a piece of grass there or a piece of mud or

wherever it is, so the kicker knows where the ball’s going to be spotted. We

even saw verification where last year South Carolina’s kicker did it.”

Spurrier said after practice Wednesday he was not aware

that any of South Carolina’s players spotted kicks. “If we did that last year,

why didn’t they turn us in, if it was illegal?” he said. “Shoot, I’m available

to be turned in for anything if it is illegal.”

Spurrier earlier stopped short of accusing Alabama coaches

of intentionally breaking the rule.

“I heard that was not supposed to happen, you’re not

supposed to use anything like that,” Spurrier said. “I guess Alabama didn’t know

it was against the rules. They said you’re not supposed to use anything to spot

the ball there. I don’t know if they knew it was illegal or legal but they dang

sure did it last week. It looked funny watching the tape. Maybe they thought it

was permissible. Maybe the kicker did it on his own. I don’t know.”

The NCAA rule states that “no material or device shall be

used to improve or degrade the playing surface or other conditions and give one

player or team an advantage.” No penalties can be imposed after the game for an

infraction, SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said.

He didn’t immediately know if the league had sent

anything out reminding SEC coaches of the rule.

The exception is a kicking tee for kickoffs. Otherwise,

it is a live-ball foul and a 5-yard penalty.