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Riveron: NFL will again consider making hair pulls illegal

NBC Sports logo NBC Sports 10/19/2018 Mike Florio
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Last Sunday, Texans defender Jadeveon Clowney dragged Bills running back Chris Ivory to the ground with a hair pull. It’s a legal maneuver. Eventually, it may not be.

NFL senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron explained in his weekly rules video that the question of whether the hair pull should be removed from the game will be raised in the offseason, and that it specifically will be discussed with the NFL Players Association.

The easiest solution to the situation could be to place limits on hair length. However, the Collective Bargaining Agreement currently states that players cannot be disciplined in any way based on hair length. Which allows them to grow their hair as long as they want.

If the league were to ban hair pulls, players would have a natural incentive to grow their hair long (and coaches would have an incentive to ask them to), in the hopes of randomly picking up 15 yards here or there as a result of an inadvertent grab and pull of hair that happens to be in the vicinity of the lunging defender’s grasp. Which would create a rash of long-haired football players, similar to the pre-helmet days when players actually believed long hair protected them from head injuries.

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