What is the New Eyeblack Rule?

In recent years, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has implemented a new rule regarding the use of eyeblack by student-athletes in Division I, II and III sports. The new rule requires that all athletes must wear either a plain black or white eyeblack, and prohibits the use of any other color, logo, or writing on the eyeblack. This change has been met with mixed reactions from student-athletes and coaches alike.

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Background of Eyeblack

Eyeblack has been used by athletes for decades as a way to reduce glare and improve visibility during competition. The black grease paint was first used by Native American warriors, and later adopted by baseball players in the late 1800s. The dark makeup was believed to help improve their focus, and the tradition of wearing eyeblack began. Over the years, athletes from different sports began wearing eyeblack to gain an advantage, and the practice has become commonplace in many sports.

Rationale Behind the New Rule

The eyeblack rule was implemented by the NCAA in an effort to limit the amount of time players spend applying and removing the makeup. The NCAA believes that this will help athletes focus more on their performance and less on their appearance. Additionally, the new rule helps to keep the playing field level by prohibiting any team from using eyeblack to gain an edge over their competition.

Reactions from Student-Athletes

Many student-athletes have spoken out against the new rule, arguing that it takes away their ability to express themselves. Many football players, in particular, have become accustomed to showing off special designs or writing on their eyeblack, and the new rule takes away that option. Some athletes have also expressed concern that the rule could be interpreted to prohibit the wearing of religious symbols or patches, which could put them in a difficult situation.

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Reactions from Coaches

Many coaches have expressed support for the new rule, arguing that the use of eyeblack has become a distraction for many athletes. They believe that the rule will help players focus more on the game and less on the appearance of their eyeblack. Additionally, coaches have expressed concern that some teams may be using the eyeblack to gain an edge over their competition, and the new rule helps to ensure a level playing field.

Conclusion

The NCAA’s new eyeblack rule has been met with mixed reactions from student-athletes and coaches alike. While some athletes feel that the rule takes away their ability to express themselves, many coaches believe that it will help players focus more on the game. Ultimately, the rule was implemented in an effort to reduce distractions and keep the playing field level, and it remains to be seen how successful it will be in achieving those goals.