NCAA bans the use of hashtags and website URLs on football fields
In a bulletin to football officials released this week, the NCAA’s Football Rules Committee outlined acceptable “Field Markings” and stated that “social media designations such as URLs or hashtags are prohibited.”
Mississippi State was the first FBS school to place a Twitter hashtag (#HAILSTATE) on its field for the 2011 Egg Bowl game against Ole Miss, and other programs have since followed suit.
The only acceptable field markings are:
- NCAA, conference, university and team logos.
- The name (but not logo) of the commercial entity that purchased naming rights to the stadium.
- The name and logo of the title sponsor of a postseason game.
Also new this season, end zone pylons may bear a manufacturer’s logo and trademark, or institutional, conference or sponsor logos.
You can read the full bulletin HERE.
UPDATE: Rogers Redding, the national coordinator for college football officials, told USA Today that hashtags are considered “another kind of advertisement,” and the Rules Committee fears that schools could use hashtags as a loophole to commercialize their fields.
Schools can still promote their Twitter hashtags, as long as they aren’t on the field of play.
“If they have stuff on the sidelines, or on the walls that go around the stadium, it’s OK,” Redding said. “The idea is just to preserve the integrity of the field and not open it up to other kinds of advertising.”