I posted something similar to this on The Scratching Post:
No yards penalties are great when they are big enough to be respected by the cover team. If the punt hits the turf the maximum penalty is 5 yards. Most cover teams would be willing to give up 5 yards. The alternative, trying to leave the protected area, could lead to a long return. I think the refs should have the option of bumping the penalty up to 15 yards if the cover player makes no attempt to leave the restraining zone.
In addition, rather than give the receiving team the option of taking the penalty, or the yardage the returner gains, I think that the 5 or 15 yard penalty should be added on to the yardage gained by the returner.
These changes would, in my mind, lead to more awareness and respect of the encroachment zone by the cover team, and also would open up more opportunities for long run-backs. The current system, though well intentioned, is not being respected. A rule that isn't respected must be tweaked to gain respect (in my opinion at least).:cowboy: