The NCAA held a rules committee conference call with reporters on Friday about a group of new rule changes, and among them is one that quite literally amounts to nothing. Starting next season, players will be allowed to wear the No. 0 on their jersey, in an effort to cut down on teams having numerous players with single-digit numbers. The rule still needs to clear one more hurdle before it is fully approved.
Of course, the NCAA didn't just have a bunch of media members on a large conference call to talk about aesthetic changes to jerseys. There were other notable new rules and enforcements discussed as well. Here are some of the things that were discussed:
- Officials will get two minutes to review a play. If a review takes longer than that, the call will stand.
- Players must be accompanied by coaches during warmups, and the jurisdiction of officials will be moved to 90 minutes before kickoff, back from 60, to prevent pregame skirmishes.
- The post-targeting "walk of shame" has been eliminated. Players ejected for that penalty can stay on the sideline.
- A call to teams and players to stop faking injuries
Back to No. 0 now being allowed, though. In addition to giving teams another jersey number to use, it also inadvertently creates a wonderful collection of possibilities for celebrations and trash-talking from players. Think about it: a cornerback wearing that number could use it to represent the number of yards a quarterback, or receiver, will get if the ball is thrown his way. A receiver could wear it to represent how many people can guard him, a nose tackle could wear it to signal how many runs are getting past him, and a punter could even wear it without any real reason because it'd be one of the few things that could make a punter actually look tough on the football field.
It'll be great when some of these rules collide next season. Imagine the scene when No. 0 on defense flops on one play and gets targeting called against him on the next.