Photography by JMPUK.
Vanderbilt Commodores players wait during a lightning delay prior to the game against the Temple Owls at Vanderbilt Stadium.Interactive graphic 2014 Vanderbilt Football Schedule One day later, it turns out Vanderbilt’s football jerseys with the slogan “ANCHOR DOWN” on the back are not legal after all.The Southeastern Conference released a statement on Friday stating the jerseys do not meet regulations and cannot be worn again.A statement issued by the SEC said:“Vanderbilt has been notified it cannot wear the slogan on its jersey for future games and has agreed to comply.”NCAA rules state that all schools except the military service academies may not put slogans on the backs on players’ jerseys.RELATED: What does Vandy do at quarterback?CLIMER: It’s like deja vu for VandyRELATED: Derek Mason era off to rough startA miscommunication with the SEC office resulted in Vanderbilt’s wearing the jerseys during its season-opener against Temple on Thursday night.Before production of the jerseys, Vanderbilt sought approval of the jersey design from the NCAA. The NCAA responded with written approval of the design as presented and Vanderbilt proceeded with the jersey production, assuming the approval was applicable to the slogan as well as the colors and overall design in the submitted layout.At the beginning of the second quarter, officials announced Vanderbilt’s new uniform was in violation of rules. Referee Ken Williamson announced to the crowd that Vanderbilt would be charged a timeout for each quarter due to the uniform violation.Shortly afterward, though, Williamson announced that timeouts would not be charged.Athletics communications director Rod Williamson said:Vanderbilt players walk back to the locker room with Coach Derek Mason due to the weather at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014.“It’s an easy fix. We’re going to take ‘Anchor Down’ off because we clearly have to and we’re fine with that. We realize now that that wasn’t right. We’re going to put the last names on the jersey and it’s all good. It’s just a flap you take off and replace.“It was an honest miscommunication. We sent an email design concept to the NCAA football rules committee, got a cursory response, which says, ‘It looks good to us.’ We thought that meant every piece of the communication was fine. If anybody wonders if we’re unhappy, no, we’re completely fine. It was just an honest miscommunication. We thought we had clearance to use the slogan, obviously we didn’t.”Williamson declined to provide the email sent from the NCAA stating the uniform design was OK.South Florida recently announced that its players would wear nameplates reading “The Team,” but that plan was scrapped when the school became aware of the ban on slogans.At the start of March Madness this year, Baylor announced plans for its basketball team to wear uniforms with the phrase “Sic ‘Em Bears,” but then learned the uniforms would be against the rules.