The Vanderbilt football team thought it was unveiling some cool new jerseys in their season debut Thursday night. The new look almost cost them dearly.
The new Vandy jerseys featured nameplates on every jersey with the words “Anchor Down.” Apparently, that’s against NCAA rules, and the head referee announced early in the game that Vanderbilt would be charged with a timeout before the start of each quarter as punishment.
The Commodores, however, insisted they were given permission by the NCAA to wear the specialized nameplates, and they had the proof, too. Someone hurried to produce emails stating said permission, and that was enough for the referee.
According to NCAA rules, only service academies are allowed to use anything other than players’ names on the back nameplates. The University of South Florida found that out earlier this month when it tried to create “The Team” nameplates for their jerseys but was denied. Somehow, though, Vanderbilt got permission.
The new look didn’t do anything for the Commodores, though. They were stomped out 37-7 by Temple.
UPDATE (8:46 p.m.): The NCAA gave Vanderbilt a pass this time, but the school won’t be receiving another.
Chuck Dunlap, communications director for the SEC, issued a statement via ESPN confirming that only military service academies are allowed to put slogans on their jerseys and that “a miscommunication” allowed Vanderbilt to wear their “Anchor Down” jerseys.
“Vanderbilt has been notified it cannot wear the slogan on its jersey for future games and has agreed to comply,” Dunlap said.