NCAA Approves Rule Changes for Targeting, Instant Replay and Jersey Numbers

By Dan Hope on April 21, 2020 at 4:13 pm
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Rich Barnes – USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel officially approved several college football rule changes on Tuesday.

Among those rule changes, players will now be able to remain on the sidelines after a targeting ejection, a rule change that Ohio State coach Ryan Day had publicly advocated for earlier this year.

“The walk of shame, where the guy, he gets (ejected for targeting, he walks off the field, I don't think that that's right,” Day said in a press conference in January.

All other aspects of the targeting rule remain unchanged from last season.

New guidelines for instant replay are also being implemented for the 2020 season. Officials will now be instructed to complete video reviews in less than two minutes, though that will not be a hard time limit; officials have been instructed that “reviews that are exceptionally complicated or involve end-of-game issues should be completed as efficiently as possible.”

Additionally, the oversight panel added a rule that for time to be added back onto the game clock at the end of the half, there must be at least three seconds remaining on the game clock. If it is determined that the ball should have been declared dead with less than three seconds remaining in the half after the clock has already hit zeroes, the half will be declared over.

Tuesday's rule changes also will now officially allow players to wear the No. 0, beginning this upcoming season, while no more than two players per team will be allowed to wear the same jersey number.

Officials' jurisdiction of each game will also now begin 90 minutes before kickoff, rather than 60, in response to concerns about negative interactions between teams before games. Also, a coach is now expected to be present for all pregame warmups when players are present, and all players are to be identifiable by their jersey numbers.

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