What the new college football rules allow and do not allow

New rules for college football have been long overdue. They will allow significant changes during games to the benefit of all.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It took the Michigan sign-stealing scandal to do it, but college football is finally embracing the use of modern technology during games. A soon-to-be-passed new rule will allow coach-to-player headset communication during games.

In another bow to the benefits of technology, video review will be allowed on the sidelines. Plays will be allowed to be viewed on the sidelines using a tablet. Based on current rules, tablets could not even be used in halftime locker rooms. That too is expected to change.

The NFL has been far ahead of college football in the use of these tools. Also following the lead of the NFL game, a two-minute warning stop in play will occur near the end of each half.

All the changes are warranted and bring value to the game. The only downside could be more television commercials being added at the two-minute timeout.

One player from each team may wear a helmet with a listening device. What that player can hear from his coaches will end at 15 seconds on the play clock, as it does in the NFL. Past the 15-second mark, pre-snap adjustments will not be aided by helmet communication.

The use of sideline signaling will continue to relay directions to other players after the 15-second shutdown of helmet communication. The NFL has been using the technology for three decades with no adverse consequences. Test use of helmet communication took place during a Texas Tech bowl game in December. All reports provided rave reviews from players.

The only credible argument against these improvements is the added expenses to programs that struggle with the cost of maintaining a college football program. For the great majority of college football programs, the costs are trivial.

Mark the changes done as a rare example of the NCAA improving the game of college football.