Kenny Pickett Pulled off a Fake Slide During the 2021 ACC Championship Game
The 2022 NFL draft is finally here, meaning most of us will be crowding around our TVs and praying that our favorite teams select worthy prospects. Although a QB will not be the No. 1 overall pick, one of this year's promising picks — Kenny Pickett — is likely to be the first quarterback drafted. Several reports suggest he could be selected No. 16 overall by the New Orleans Saints.
While we're sure he and his family are thrilled at the opportunity, we can't help but recall the controversial fake slide he executed to score a touchdown during the 2021 ACC championship game. Here's everything you should know about the tense situation.
Kenny Pickett made a fake slide during the 2021 ACC championship game.
At only 23 years old, Kenny Pickett has changed the game of football.
During the 2021 ACC championship game in December against Wake Forest, the quarterback ran for a 58-yard touchdown after faking a slide on the University of Pittsburgh's first possession. Following the play, officials were outraged and expressed concern for the safety of everyone on the field.
"You just train your players, as soon as your quarterback starts sliding, you stop because if you touch him it's going to be a penalty," Wake Forest football coach Dave Clawson told ESPN. "He started his slide, and our kids stopped playing. I don't think he did it intentionally, but if he did, he's brilliant."
After the game, Kenny confessed to the Associated Press, via Sports Illustrated, that the fake slide "was intentional."
"I just kind of started slowing down and pulling up and getting ready to slide and I just kind of saw their body language, and they just pulled up as well," Kenny said. "I have never done that before. I just kind of kept going after I initially started to slide."
After months of pushback from officials and fans, the NCAA Rules Committee finally came to a conclusion about the legality of the fake slide.
On April 21, 2022, the organization officially banned players from fake-sliding during games; the new rule, known as the "Kenny Pickett Rule," states that "if a ball carrier simulates a feet-first slide, officials will declare the runner down at that spot."