Well, as long as it doesn’t cost anything.
The problem with the helpful tools for coaches? The NCAA doesn’t quite know how to level the playing field and make sure every team has equal access to the coaching tools, from the Power 5 conferences to the FCS programs already struggling financially.
The NCAA playing rules oversight panel will discuss Tuesday whether to approve significant changes allowing tablets and computers in the coaches’ booth and inside locker rooms at halftime on game days. The NCAA football rules committee forwarded the proposal it approved in February.
The complex issue involving logistics, money, equal access and much more, however, has some believing the proposal could stall and be placed on the shelf for another year, according to NCAA sources.
“It’s inevitable that somewhere down the line we will move to allow technology, even on the sideline,” said Steve Shaw, the SEC’s director of officials. “It’s inevitable. It’s part of everything we do now, but whether it is ready now, I just don’t know.”
The main issue is consistency across all conferences. Simply put, it’s yet another Pandora’s Box of compliance issues the NCAA could crack open next fall.
The NFL began using tablet technology on its sidelines — a move that could still be several years down the road in the NCAA — in 2013 thanks to a five-year, $400 million deal it signed with Microsoft. Microsoft, along with NFL officials, developed a universal system that guides all 32 teams, which have the same equipment and capabilities. On the college level, such a system could prove impossible, leading to yet another Wild West of insecurity and big moneymakers getting the upperhand.
When you start talking “Wild West” in the context of college football, you know this isn’t going to end well.
Maybe the P5 schools could start throwing in a shipment of iPads along with the million-dollar guarantee fees they offer when they schedule cupcake games. Used ones, even. Heck, you know Auburn will be getting the latest upgrade every time one comes out.