NCAA Will Vote to Add Helmet Communication Technology, Two-Minute Warning to College Football

By Chase Brown on March 1, 2024 at 12:53 pm
Jenna Watson / IndyStar

Significant changes could be coming to college football in 2024.

On Friday, the NCAA Football Rules Committee proposed a series of optional technology rules that could come into effect this fall, including helmet communication and a two-minute warning in the second and fourth quarters.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel must approve all of the committee's recommendations and will meet on April 18 to discuss its proposals.

Helmet Communication

In matchups involving Football Bowl Subdivision teams, the committee proposed that each school would have the option to use coach-to-player helmet communications through the helmet of one player on the field, identified via a green dot on their helmet. Communication between coach and player would be turned off with 15 seconds left on the play clock or when the ball is snapped, whichever occurs first.

Two-Minute Timeout

The committee proposed the addition of an automatic timeout when the clock reaches two minutes in the second and fourth quarters, a rule known in the NFL as the "two-minute warning."

This recommendation would synchronize all time-related rules that coincide with the two-minute timeout, such as 10-second runoffs and clock stoppage when a first down is gained in bounds.

"The two-minute timeout will allow all end-of-half and end-of-game timing rules to be simplified and synch up with this timeout," NCAA secretary-rules editor Steve Shaw said in a statement. "This will also help broadcast partners to avoid back-to-back media timeouts."

Tablets to View In-Game Video, Wearable Technology

The committee recommended that teams have the option to use tablets to view in-game video during their matchups. The video would include the broadcast feed and camera angles from the coach's sideline and the coach's end zone.

If a team chooses to use tablets, that team would have access to 18 active devices for use in the coaching booth, sideline and locker room. Tablets could not be connected to other devices and could not include analytics, data or other communication access. All team personnel, including coaches and players, would be allowed to view the tablets during the game.

The committee also discussed the potential for players to use wearable technology, such as fitness watches and other smart devices, during games.

"The use of technology has been on the committee's agenda for several years, and the time is right to introduce it in NCAA football," said A.J. Edds, co-chair of the committee and Big Ten vice president of football administration. "FBS conferences have partnered together to ensure the consistent application and work through the details of the technical requirements for implementation."


The committee expressed concerns about the look of players' uniforms, specifically pants. It has proposed a stronger enforcement structure for clear violations of the rule.

On the first violation, a flag would be thrown to indicate a warning for illegal equipment. The offending player would also be required to leave the game for at least one play and could return when the issue is corrected. A subsequent uniform violation from that team would result in a timeout being charged. If a team is out of timeouts, it would receive a 5-yard delay-of-game penalty.

Other rules proposals

  • Allowing conferences the option of using a collaborative replay review system. This would be formally added to the rules book; it has been an experimental rule.
  • Penalizing horse-collar tackles that occur within the tackle box as a 15-yard personal foul. Currently, a horse-collar tackle within the tackle box is not a foul.
  • Permanently allowing head coaches to conduct interviews with broadcast partners after the first and third quarters. This was allowed on an experimental basis last season. 
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