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NCAA proposes helmet communications, 2-minute warnings for football

By Mike Heuer
Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Trevor Keegan holds the trophy with teammates after the Wolverines defeated the Washington Huskies 34-13 in the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship at NRG Stadium in Houston on Jan. 8. File photo by Kevin M. Cox/UPI
Michigan Wolverines offensive lineman Trevor Keegan holds the trophy with teammates after the Wolverines defeated the Washington Huskies 34-13 in the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship at NRG Stadium in Houston on Jan. 8. File photo by Kevin M. Cox/UPI | License Photo

March 2 (UPI) -- College football coaches could communicate with players, review game footage on tablets and get a timeout during 2-minute warnings before the end of each half under rules changes proposed by the NCAA.

The NCAA Football Rules Committee on Friday proposed enabling schools to choose whether they want to designate one coach to communicate to one player using wireless technology between snaps during games.

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The wireless communications automatically would be disabled when there are 15 seconds left on the play clock or when the football is snapped.

One player on offense and one player on defense would have the ability to listen to one coach on the sideline and relay any instructions to the other players during the allotted communications times.

The helmet communications proposal comes in the wake of the University of Michigan sign-stealing scandal, in which the national champions are accused of running a sophisticated operation to scout and film the signs used future opponents.

"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," A.J. Edds, rules committee co-chair, said in a statement.

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Edds said the football bowl subdivision conferences have worked out the technical requirements to implement the helmet communications.

College teams also would benefit from an automatic timeout by implementing a 2-minute warning and could use up to 18 tablet devices on the sidelines and in coaches boxes to review plays and make adjustments during the game.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel would have to approve the proposed rules changes for them to take effect. The panel is scheduled to meet on April 18.

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