The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel announced on Thursday that it will allow players to make social justice, commemorative and memorial statements, as well as other messages, on their jerseys in 2020. Current NCAA rules in most sports prohibit commemorative patches to be worn, while other sports do not have a rule on their books.
The loosened policy limits the areas on the jersey to two places -- the front of the jersey and the nameplate on the back.
The nameplate on the back of the jersey can now be used to celebrate or memorialize people, events or other causes, subject to school and/or conference approval. Those messages can vary from player-to-player.
The front patch will be limited to 2.25 square inches, and must be placed either on the sleeve or the front of the jersey similar to the "CFB 150" patches that were worn by players last season. Players are not required to wear them, but those that do must wear the same patch. These patches can include names, mascots, nicknames, logos and marks that celebrate or memorialize people, events or other causes.
The change in policy comes after the NBA passed a rule that allows players to put social justice messages on the backs of their jerseys. Major League Baseball allows patches to be worn on sleeves of uniforms that also promote messages.
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel also passed two rules designed to mitigate COVID-19 infection risk. Team areas on the sideline will be expanded to each 15-yard line instead of the 25-yard line. Two officials and one player per team will be allowed to participate in the coin toss. The previous policy allowed for up to four players per team, media members and honorary captains to be present.