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Electronic device use for coaching football delayed until 2017

Playing rules panel determines more time needed to develop guidelines

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Monday approved a request from the Football Rules Committee to delay implementation of a rule change allowing the use of electronic devices for coaching purposes in the press box and locker room during games until the 2017 season.

The panel originally approved the use of digital technology for the 2016 season on March 8. But after receiving feedback from commissioners in all three divisions that sponsor the sport, it was decided more time was needed to develop guidelines that would allow for consistent application of the rule, help manage the costs and to provide time to see if any unintended consequences develop.

Once the rule goes into effect with the 2017 season, the in-game use of electronic devices for coaching purposes in the press box and locker room will be permitted; however, that equipment will not be permitted on the sidelines, in the team areas and on the field. Additionally, the home school will be responsible for ensuring the coaches’ booths of both teams will have identical television capability and identical video and internet connectivity.

The Football Rules Committee will continue monitoring the use of technology in the 2016 season to see if there are any enhancements that could improve the game.