48th Annual Bayou Classic kicks off; game to feature first coach-to-player electronic communication

Southern Football
Southern Jags to test out same equipment the pros use
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 5:55 AM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2021 at 11:10 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WAFB) - The 48th Annual Bayou Classic kicked off on Monday, Nov. 22 with the news conference previewing the historic rivalry between the Southern Jaguars and Grambling State Tigers.

The Bayou Classic returns to New Orleans after spending last season in Shreveport, Louisiana due to COVID-19. Governmental leaders, tourism leaders, Bayou Classic organizers and representatives from both Southern University and Grambling State University will provide updates on this year’s Bayou Classic scheduled for November 26-27.

The Bayou Classic will also be the first game to feature in-game coach to player electronic communication. Southern Athletic Director Roman Banks said the NCAA Football Rules Committee approved the waiver for the game this Saturday.

“This Bayou Classic speaks volumes. It’s a historic event,” said Southern Athletic Director Roman Banks. “For them to reach down and say, ‘Hey, Southern and Grambling, the Bayou Classic, we’re going to use you all.’ I think it speaks volumes and speaks to the trend of where we’re going.”

Banks said this could lead to more opportunities and open new doors for other HBCU’s. However, Banks said they must go out there and prove that they are worth the investment.

“Just talking about it is not good enough. We’re getting the opportunities, now we have to get these opportunities and develop others,” said Banks.

This technology waiver will carry the following requirements:

  • The coach-to-player communications must be switched off by a neutral party designated by game management when the play clock goes below 15 seconds and must stay off through the end of all live ball action.
  • If there is a total failure of either team’s system, the shutoff switch will be used to stop all communications for both teams until the problem is resolved.
  • Each team will be allowed eight player units, four each for offense and defense. Each team can have only one player with a helmet receiver on the field at one time. During special team plays (free kicks and scrimmage kicks), only one player from each team may have a receiver on the field, and it can be designated from the offense or defense.
  • To denote that a player has a receiver, each team will be required to place an identifying sticker on the back of each helmet that contains a receiver. The sticker should be large enough to be clearly visible to officials. It will be the team’s responsibility to manage players and helmets to ensure that only one of their players on the field at a time is wearing a receiver.

The Jaguars are looking to extend their winning streak to four games, Southern has combined for 117 points in the three wins while the Tigers have scored 63 points.

Both Southern (4-6, 3-4 SWAC) and Grambling State (3-7, 2-5 SWAC) are having down years heading into Saturday’s game.

Tickets for the game can be purchased here.

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