NCAA Proposes Uniforms-Cant-Match-Turf Rule; Not Just Boise Effected

featured NCAA Football Rules Committee proposal uniform

The NCAA Football Rules Committee met this week and had ten proposals for new rules for football under their watch. The most interesting of the set is a uniform matter that has been termed by some as “The Boise State rule.”

See, Boise State has their infamous blue field, and they love wearing an all blue uniform set. Its very important to the team. When the Mountain West Conference member schools complained that the Boise players were camouflaged, the conference banned the matching. How did Boise respond? By signing a deal to move to the Big East conference. When The Mountain West asked what they could do in order to keep Boise, one of their demands was that the all-blue look needed to once again be legal.

But now, the NCAA is hovering their huge influence over Boise, and considering a rule of their own.

To require teams to have either their jersey or pants contrast in color to the playing field.



But is this rule necessary?

boise blue field NCAA Football Rules Committee proposal uniform
One assumes there are 11 Broncos players on the field… somewhere

One can’t look at the above photo and argue that; “the players stand out just fine.” They are difficult to see. Maybe its considerably easier in person and certainly easier when you are ON the field with a perspective that likely includes fans, your own sideline, cheerleaders, etc.

boise blue players NCAA Football Rules Committee proposal uniform
Blue all around, including underfoot at Boise State

But if this is truly “The Boise Rule” then the NCAA should have used the word “Boise” or “blue.” There are several other teams that could potentially affected by this rule, should it be passed, and some team in ways I’m willing to wager that the NCAA doesn’t intend.

How about Eastern Washington?

Eastern Washington Eagles red turf at Roos Field in Cheney, Washington Oregon ducks green NCAA Football Rules Committee proposal uniform
Red on red played on red Roos Field in Washington

EWU installed red turf a few years ago, and often wear red helmets, red jerseys, and red pants. I’m betting the NCAA wasn’t thinking about them, but perhaps the same camouflage effect is of the same concern here.

But what about natural grass? What color is that?

usf green south florida NCAA Football Rules Committee proposal uniform
University of South Florida has even had green helmets to complete their full green look.

That’s right. Green. Shown here by USF, if the proposal becomes law, teams with a green uniform will be forbidden from wearing both green jerseys and green pants.

Ohio Bobcats green-on-green green NCAA Football Rules Committee proposal uniform
Ohio Bobcats even use a flat green helmet to blend in.

Many teams in the NCAA use green, like Ohio above, and many of those go full green.

Oregon ducks green NCAA Football Rules Committee proposal uniform
To be fair, Oregon’s green is pretty dark. Well, this one time at least

Oregon is known to go all-green at least once a season. Accent colors aren’t accounted for, so even with a strong secondary color, matching the field would be against the rules.

colorado state green NCAA Football Rules Committee proposal uniform
Colorado State in all green with gold accents

Colorado State wears all green, which allows their gold to stand out. Others have a different color of helmet, but the rule proposal doesn’t address helmets, only jersey and pants.

baylor green NCAA Football Rules Committee proposal uniform
At least Baylor has gold helmets

Baylor‘s gold helmets really shine. Some teams don’t often wear all green, but would be forbidden from bringing it back, like Michigan State.

michigan state green NCAA Football Rules Committee proposal uniform
They don’t wear it a lot, but Michigan State has green-on-green as an option

Throwback uniforms aren’t exempted Nor are special uses. Is the rule really meant to prevent these uniforms from appearing? How about Tulane?

tulane green NCAA Football Rules Committee proposal uniform
Tulane Green Wave sport their green-on-green

While I would enjoy a rule that prevented any team from matching their pants and jerseys, except when wearing white, this isn’t a sartorial concern, this is supposed to be about making sure players stand out on the field of play. The danger is, that determination is a judgement call and judgement calls are open to interpretation. That interpretation can easily be questioned, argued, and second-guessed. So, the judgement needs to be removed and a zero-tolerance, black-and-white, pass/fail rule ends up being made. While the intention may be true, the practice becomes so difficult it ends up more hassle than it was initially designed to prevent.

What color uniforms would the NCAA have poor Central Arkansas wear on their purple and silver alternating-striped field?

Central Arkansas uca purple silver NCAA Football Rules Committee proposal uniform
Watcha gonna wear on this field?

They will need a soccer-style “clash kit” for all their home games!

Or, this silly rule could be exposed for what it is; The NCAA attempting to bully a specific team. And if you want to do that, just tell Boise not to wear all blue.

What do you think? Good rule? NCAA bullying? Will you look forward to all green-on-green uniforms being banned?