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NFL to Penalize Only If Crowd Noise Extreme

Referees in the National Football League are being instructed to penalize a team for excessive crowd noise only in extreme situations during the 1989 season, Indianapolis Colts General Manager Jim Irsay said.

Irsay told a news conference in Indianapolis Friday that Commissioner Pete Rozelle modified but would not order a complete reversal of the controversial rule approved in a vote during the off-season.

The rule allows an official to take away a time-out or to penalize the home team five yards if it does not have a time-out remaining, when the visiting team’s quarterback indicates that his teammates cannot hear signals because of crowd noise.

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