Man, this has been a rough offseason for Shawn Oakman; At least for his sense of on-field fashion. Earlier in this offseason, the NCAA banned the crop-top look that was steadily creeping back into style after seemingly dying a quick and painful death in the late-90s. Now, in their never-ending efforts to cramp Oakman’s style, the NCAA has banned overbuilt helmets as well. That means no more of those intinmidating facemasks that were also beginning to get really popular in college football.
So, why is this being done? The SEC’s coordinator of officials explained the reasoning to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
So why are they no longer being allowed? Shaw listed three reasons:
“These things are so heavy, they’re potential (to hurt) integrity of the helmet. But then also the weight begins to pull guys’ heads down, and clearly we want guys’ heads up. And then the third (reason) was guys get fingers stuck in. You could see, you could get your hand stuck in there.”
So there you have it: Player safety. I can attest to the finger part as well, seeing as how I fell victim to getting my finger jammed by a nook and/or cranny of a facemask a few times during my days of playing terrible high school football. I can only imagine what it’s like when players who are actually good at playing football get their fingers jammed in there. It must be a nightmare.
Still, my point from the article on crop-tops remains: How in the world did they clear this without incurring the wrath of Shawn Oakman?
This entire look is now banned from college football. Keep all of the crop tops and overbuilt facemasks in your thoughts, and keep the officials in your thoughts as well, for Shawn Oakman will surely be coming after them in their nightmares.