The NCAA made a fashion statement Wednesday, and Eastern Washington was quick to pick up the fabric of the conversation.
The NCAA tackled the issue of uniforms, specifically requiring teams to have either their jersey or pants contrast in color to their home playing field.
The main target was Boise State’s all-blue uniforms on its famous Smurf Turf, but the controversy has already bled to Cheney, home of Eastern Washington’s Inferno.
The Eagles wore all-red uniforms for several games at Roos Field; that wouldn’t be allowed if the NCAA turns its fashion statement into law.
EWU athletic director Bill Chaves put the controversy in perspective.
“If we’re to that point, it must mean we’ve (the NCAA) dealt with all the more important things,” Chaves joked Thursday.
Chaves said he wasn’t worried about the proposal, saying that the players “enjoy wearing the blacks even more than the reds.”
However, the red uniforms fit more snugly over the players’ pads, preventing opposing defensive linemen from getting a handful of fabric on the way to the quarterback.
Other proposed rules from the NCAA include:
• Strengthening the penalty for intentional above-the-shoulder hits. The 15-yard penalty would now have an ejection tacked on, assuming the Playing Rules Oversight Panel approves the plan next month.
• Adding a 10-second runoff with less than a minute remaining in either half when the sole reason for the clock to stop is an injury. Calhoun said the intent is to prevent players from faking injuries to stop the clock.
• Establishing 3 seconds as the minimum amount of time required to be on the game clock in order to spike the ball to stop the clock.
• Allowing the use of electronic communication by the on-field officiating crew. Such devises were used successfully in an experiment in the Southeastern Conference. The equipment would not be required.
• Allowing the Big 12 to experiment with using an eighth official on the field in conference games. This official would be placed in the backfield opposite the referee and, according to Calhoun, would add another set of eyes to detect holding on the offensive line.