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Digest: NCAA proposes football rule change to allow ejection for high hits

Cullen, Dashiell help No. 3 Florida women rout Jacksonville in lacrosse, 15-4

Sports Digest

12:42 AM EST, February 14, 2013

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College football

NCAA proposes rule change to allow ejection for hits above shoulders

The NCAA has proposed a rule change that would eject any player who targets and hits a defenseless opponent above the shoulders. The Football Rules Committee, which met this week in Indianapolis, unanimously voted to increase the penalty to include an automatic ejection in addition to a 15-yard penalty. The proposal still awaits approval by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel on March 6. "Student-athlete safety will always be one of our primary concerns," said Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, the chairman of the committee. "We all have a role to embrace when making a positive impact on our game. Taking measures to remove targeting, or above the shoulder hits on defenseless players, will improve our great sport." The proposed rule will be similar to the the penalty for fighting. Violators would be ejected if the infraction occurred in the first half. But if the penalty took place in the second half, the offender would sit out the rest of the game and the first half of the following game. The actions that led to an ejection would be reviewable through video during the game by the officials. Among the committee's other proposals for next season were: adding a 10-second runoff with less than a minute remaining in either half when the sole reason for the clock to stop is an injury; establishing three seconds as the minimum amount of time required to be on the game clock in order to spike the ball to stop the clock; and allowing the Big 12 to experiment with using an eighth on-field official on the field in the backfield opposite the referee in conference games.

College lacrosse

Cullen, Dashiell help Fla. women past Jacksonville

Kitty Cullen (McDonogh) and Brittany Dashiell (John Carroll) scored two goals apiece as No. 3 Florida rolled to a 15-4 victory over host Jacksonville (1-2) on Wednesday. Gabi Wiegan scored five goals for the Gators (2-0), and six players added assists. "I thought they did a fantastic job, I thought Gabi did a great job driving to the goal and Brittany drawing, too, and being able to distribute the ball. We got a lot of opportunities, a lot of shots and that's what we were looking for tonight," Gators coach Amanda O'Leary said. Florida controlled the tempo on both sides of the field, leading the game in shots (31-13), ground balls (19-8) and draw controls (13-8). Gilroy, Barry and senior defender Kayla Stolins (Loch Raven) led with three draw controls while Dashiell added two.

Division III men: The Landmark Conference's coaches have picked Goucher as the preseason favorite for the third straight season. The Gophers, who begin their schedule Saturday against Birmingham-Southern, were chosen to repeat by five of the six opposing head coaches; coaches could not vote for their own team. Drew received the remaining two first-place votes to finish second, while Scranton was third; Catholic and Susquehanna shared the fourth spot.

More colleges

BCCC men cruise in opening round of MD JUCO tourney

Top-ranked Baltimore City Community College cruised past No. 16 Montgomery College, 99-70, in the opening round of the Maryland JUCO Conference men's basketball tournament Tuesday night at the BCCC Physical Education Center. The Panthers (19-8) take on No. 9 CCBC-Catonsville (11-13) at 5 p.m. Friday. Sean Farr At halftime, BCCC was up 51-33. In the second half, the Panthers maintained a double-digit lead the entire way and led by as many as 30 on several occasions. A dunk by Aaron Parham (Dunbar) with 2:08 left in the game put BCCC up 97-63. Phoenix Butler-Poole Mike Wilson led the Panthers with 18 points and added six rebounds, six assists and two steals. Will Adams finished with 14 points and six boards, while Akeem Echols (Kenwood) tallied 13 points and 11 rebounds. Kendal Williams had 13 points for BCCC, and Justin Kuntz (Glen Burnie) and Ronald Epps (Digital Harbor) scored 11 points apiece.

Women's gymnastics: Maryland sophomore Stephanie Giameo earned East Atlantic Gymnastics League Gymnast of the Week honors, and junior Katy Dodds was named Specialist of the Week for the third time this season. This marks the fifth consecutive week a Terp has taken the Specialist of the Week honor. The 18th-ranked Terps host West Virginia and Rutgers for the annual Pink Meet on Sunday at 5 p.m. at Comcast Center.

Baseball: The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference announced that UMES has been picked to finish third in the Northern Division this season. Delaware State was tabbed as repeat champion, and Norfolk State took second.

Softball: UMES freshman third baseman Trenece Nash was named MEAC Player of the Week after hitting .583 with three doubles and nine RBIs in four games. The Hawks went 3-1 on the weekend for their best start in 21 years. The wins ended UMES' 35-game losing streak, and Saturday's sweep of Saint Peter's was UMES' first since 2009.

Women's college bowling: UMES senior Anggie Ramirez was named MEAC Athlete of the Week. This is her second straight honor and fourth overall this season.

Laurel Park

Trainer Hushion looking for another win in Fritchie

Belmont Park-based trainer Michael Hushion, who has won two of the previous five Barbara Fritchie Handicaps (Golden Dawn in 2008 and Harissa in 2011), is sending graded stakes winners Nicole H and My Wandy's Girl south in search of another Grade II score Saturday at Laurel Park. The storied $250,000 Fritchie kicks off holiday racing this weekend. The John B. Campbell Handicap is the co-feature Saturday, with the $250,000 General George Handicap (Grade III) headlining Monday's Presidents Day card. The 59th edition of the Fritchie has attracted 10 fillies and mares, who will race seven furlongs. Nicole H (8-5) has started as the odds-on favorite in her past four efforts, three of which were stakes victories. My Wandy's Girl (7-2) is a shining star of Puerto Rican racing after winning eight of nine races at Camarero Racetrack last year, including two graded stakes. Bold Affair (5-1) was recently named the champion Maryland-bred mare for 2012. Abel Castellano will be aboard for the 11th straight start.

Castellano to be honored: The Maryland Jockey Club will honor Castellano on Saturday afternoon for being the leading rider in the state a year ago. Castellano finished 2012 with 132 victories at Pimlico Race Course and Laurel, 11 more than 2011 champion Sheldon Russell. The 29-year-old finished 2012 ranked 25th nationally in wins (192) and was 50th in earnings ($4.4 million). Statistically, the only better year he had was 2004 when he established career-highs in wins (201) and earnings ($5 million). The Saturday festivities will include a social media event called "Digital Reins," beginning at 11:30 a.m. The promotion will include a complimentary continental breakfast, free pilsner glass and $2 drafts. To enter, fans are asked to register on Facebook. Saturday will also feature over $2,500 in prize giveaways and a complimentary fleece scarf to the first 2,500 paid fans. Those who wear the scarf to Laurel on Monday afternoon will be admitted free.

From Sun staff and news services