Not deleting emails saved Vanderbilt from four timeouts on Thursday night against Temple.
The Commodores wore special jerseys with the words "Anchor Down" (the team slogan) on the back in place of the players' names. The letters of the slogan were in black on the black jerseys, even though slogans are usually prohibited by NCAA rules. Just recently, South Florida's efforts to put "The Team" on the back of its jerseys was rebuffed because of the NCAA rule.
Before the 2014 season, the NCAA also instituted a rule that the numbers – not names, or in this case, slogans – on players' jerseys must be a contrasting color from the jersey. With the numbers on Vanderbilt's jerseys being gold, and with some special permission, Vandy was good to go.
There was some apparent confusion, however, among referee Ken Williamson and his officiating crew about the slogan, which had been previously approved by the SEC. Therefore, Vanderbilt was penalized a timeout in the first half for it. The penalty for having a slogan and/or non-contrasting numbers is a loss of a timeout per quarter unless the team changes uniforms.
(Last year, Arkansas State was penalized twice for having non-contrasting numbers on its jerseys against Auburn. The penalty was upped to loss of timeouts in 2014.)
But Vanderbilt knew the jerseys had been approved, even though a letter re-emphasizing the no-slogan rule was sent out Aug. 6. During the game, school officials printed the approval email it had gotten from the SEC. After showing Williamson the email, Vanderbilt was awarded its timeout back.
Take note, all other college football programs, you can have lettering on the back of your jerseys that blends in and possibly get a slogan exception. But you should keep any documentation regarding the uniform approval, just in case.
The uniform snafu is about the only thing that turned out right for Vanderbilt. The Commodores lost to Temple 37-7.
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