It's hard to watch.
Soccer is a visually striking game when it's played without interruptions. The same can be said of WVU Coach Dana Holgorsen's up-tempo offense. Flops and dives in soccer are no different than faking injury in football. Soccer calls it simulating. Holgorsen calls it "destroying momentum."
Soccer has tried to fix it. Football must do the same.
"You get a yellow card for simulation," LeBlanc said. "If the referee catches it, they get booked. When they're not caught, they're going back to the film. The Premiership is now suspending players for cheating. It's considered cheating. You can't do things like that and try to pull the wool over a ref's eyes."
It's worked. Players don't pretend to get fouled nearly as much and the quality of play has benefited. The same can happen in college football.
Again, the NCAA is completely aware of the nonsense it allows. The rulebook might not prevent it, but mentions it three times. There's no way officials can stand next to Holgorsen throughout a game and not become acutely aware of it. It's just not an easy problem to fix.
Sometimes players are hurt and the timing is unfortunate, but not as unfortunate as a rolled ankle or a torn knee ligament. How does an official discern on the field between injury and strategy when it's impossible to be entirely sure? The rules will never allow that, either, and the game already has enough pauses that it doesn't need to give officials the authority to review those events.
Could a coach challenge it? Say Holgorsen saw that Bowling Green defender take a sign and then take a seat. Perhaps the challenge rules could expand to incorporate it. It's clearly a delay of game and an official could throw a flag for a five-yard penalty, but it's also defined as unsportsmanlike and that would be a 15-yard penalty. Either would serve to discourage offenders.
So, too, would retroactive punishments. Teams submit questionable plays and calls to the conference office all the time. Surely individual conferences could absorb a few more clips and then borrow from soccer. Suspend players, or worse, coaches, if a team makes a habit of faking injuries and tainting the game.
The easy fix is to treat a timeout like a timeout. If a player isn't affected by the play, but needs to come out of the game, then his team needs to call a timeout. Remember, timeouts were around long before two-minute drills and hurry-up offenses, clock management mishaps and challenges. They existed to make substitutions and to have the right matchups on the field.
"Timeouts are golden to coaches," LeBlanc said. "If they know a timeout is on the line, maybe they'll let it go when the tempo is up. You don't want to be caught in a situation when you have no timeouts left, especially when it's late in the game and you really do need to stop the clock."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.