USC routinely shuffles numbers between games for a variety of reasons. But, according to NCAA rules, “Numbers shall not be changed during the game to deceive opponents.” If cited, the infraction calls for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
However, officials typically monitor only the numbers worn by offensive linemen, which in college must be between 50 and 79.
Asked if Kessler’s number switch during the Colorado game was meant to deceive, Kiffin said, “We’re just playing within the rules of college football.”
The NCAA football rule book includes a section called the “The Football Code” which is part of the American Football Coaches Assn.’s Code of Ethics. In a list of “unethical practices,” the first item is “Changing numbers during the game to deceive the opponent.”
The hilarious thing here is that the Laner felt the need to do this in a game against 1-6 Colorado, which currently sits at #159 in Sagarin. Sure it’s perverse, but you’ve got to love a guy who’s that comfortable in his dickitude. Maybe if he took all his attention to that and devoted it to game planning instead, Southern Cal wouldn’t keep losing to Stanford.