College football coaches won’t be using any new technology during games anytime soon.
The NCAA announced in a press release that the Playing Rules Oversight Panel has delayed implementation of a rule allowing coaches to use electronic devices such as tablets in the press box and locker rooms during games until 2017.
The rule originally had been approved in March, but after inquiries from commissioners from all three divisions, the panel opted to delay the technological shift until next year. The NCAA decided more time was needed to ensure the new technology was used fairly and was feasible for all schools from the SEC to the FCS.
The transition to new technology in the college game has become inevitable as the NCAA attempts to catch up to the NFL in that regard. But unlike the NFL, colleges will not have access to this new technology on the field or sidelines even when the rule is passed next year. The NFL began using Microsoft Surface tablets on the sidelines in 2013 and is now considering implementing live video into those tablets for evaluation, rather than just still images.
Perhaps delaying this implementation is a prudent decision by the NCAA, which must ensure this positively impacts hundreds of schools. Coaches will just have to settle for the ol’ blackboard and pictures for now.