The college football season got off to an incredibly bizarre start on Thursday night. No, we’re not talking about a Johnny Manziel-less No. 21 Texas A&M team destroying South Carolina on the road. The strangest thing we saw was confusion over whether Vanderbilt’s jerseys were legal or not.
Rather than having player names on the back of their jerseys, Vanderbilt decided to use their team slogan “Anchor Down” during their game against Temple. At the start of the second quarter, and official announced that the Commodores would be charged a team timeout each quarter because their jerseys were illegal.
NCAA Rule 1-4-5 states that jerseys can either feature a player’s name or be blank. We learned this earlier this month when USF announced that they would be wearing “The Team” on the back of their jerseys. However, Vanderbilt had received written permission from the NCAA to have “Anchor Down” on their jerseys. Someone literally had to print out the email so referee Ken Williamson could see it, at which point he reversed the penalty.
Vanderbilt went on to lose 37-7 despite being heavy favorites at home. If it helps them feel better, they can blame Williamson for not doing his research and throwing off their swag.
Video via The Big Lead