NCAA Fashion Police Give No-Go to Vandy Football Uniforms

Vanderbilt’s game uniforms on Thursday, shown here by Vince Taylor, were deemed illegal under the NCAA’s uniform regulations.
Vanderbilt’s game uniforms on Thursday, shown here by Vince Taylor, were deemed illegal under the NCAA’s uniform regulations.
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The “no fun” NCAA officials were at their finest during Thursday’s college football matchup between Vanderbilt and Temple.

In the game, which saw Temple roll to a 37-7 victory, Vanderbilt debuted new uniforms that were all black except for the numbers and featured the slogan “Anchor Down” on the back of the jerseys where the player name would usually go.

That last part didn’t sit too well with the game’s officials, as the Commodores were penalized a timeout for wearing the uniforms and were told they would be charged a timeout for every quarter they continued to wear them.

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Vanderbilt officials immediately protested the penalty, and after producing documentation to prove that the NCAA had given them permission to wear the uniforms, the timeout was restored and that was that for the remainder of the contest.

Afterwards, however, the SEC ruled that the uniforms were in violation of NCAA regulations, issuing a statement on Friday that the situation was the result of a “miscommunication.”

“A miscommunication resulted in Vanderbilt wearing jerseys during its football game Thursday night that are not permissible under the NCAA uniform regulations. Before production of the jerseys, Vanderbilt sought approval of the jersey design from the NCAA, which included the words ‘Anchor Down’ on the back panel. The NCAA responded with written approval of the design as presented and Vanderbilt proceeded with the jersey production, assuming the approval was applicable to the slogan as well as the colors and overall design in the submitted layout.

“NCAA football regulations do not permit the use of slogans on jerseys. Vanderbilt was originally penalized for the jerseys during the game and after being shown the written correspondence, the head referee also interpreted the correspondence to mean the slogan had been approved. Vanderbilt has been notified it cannot wear the slogan on its jersey for future games and has agreed to comply.”

The NCAA rules also nixed plans for the University of South Florida to wear uniforms that said “The Team” on the back this season. Only military service academies are allowed to wear slogans on their game uniforms.