The NCAA is officially proposing some rule additions related to technology in a move that some feel is a long time coming.

On Friday, the NCAA Football Rules Committee officially proposed “optional” technology rules that would be effective with the 2024 season. The two biggest proposals involve the use of in-helmet communication and in-game video footage.

For the FBS level, the NCAA is proposing the use of coach-to-player communications through the helmet of one player on the field. The player being communicated with would be designated by a green dot on the back of the helmet, and communications would be turned off with 15 seconds left on the play clock or at the snap.

The other proposal includes all 3 divisions and would allow teams the option of using tablets to view in-game video only. That video can include the broadcast feed, along with camera angles from the coach’s sideline and the coach’s end zone. Teams would be allowed up to 18 active tablets across the sideline, booth and locker room.

“The use of technology has been on the committee’s agenda for several years, and the time is right to introduce it in NCAA football,” said A.J. Edds, co-chair of the committee and vice president of football administration at the Big Ten Conference. “FBS conferences have partnered together to ensure the consistent application and work through the details of the technical requirements for implementation.”

Along with the technological proposals, the NCAA is also proposing a 2-minute warning in the second and fourth quarters, similar to the current format in the NFL. Part of the reasoning includes an easy synchronization between the normal clock rules and the rules utilized in the final 2 minutes of a half or game.

“The two-minute timeout will allow all end-of-half and end-of-game timing rules to be simplified and synch up with this timeout,” said Steve Shaw, secretary-rules editor. “This will also help broadcast partners to avoid back-to-back media timeouts.”

Those recommendations will need to be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel which is expected to meet on April 18.

Reaction to the proposal

The 2-minute warning is a topic all its own, but for the use of technology, the initial reaction has been overwhelmingly supportive of the move. Coaches in the ACC have already expressed unanimous support for having technology on the sidelines.

According to a previous survey conducted by The Athletic, the vast majority of coaches have already expressed support for adding the use of technology. It’s also a topic that gained increasing attention this past season.

As Michigan rolled to the national title, Jim Harbaugh’s program was the center of a massive sign-stealing investigation that led to the resignation of Connor Stalions and the eventual in-season firing of another assistant. Harbaugh is now in the NFL, but he left a string of questions in his departure.

As the investigation wore on and the topic spread across the country, many coaches claimed the sign-stealing issue would be a non-factor with the use of in-helmet communications. It is not the first time the topic has come up but there was never enough support to pass the rules in the past.

Now, that appears to be changing with Friday’s proposal, and it’s a simple rule change that has been long overdue. We’ll see if the proposal is indeed passed in April.