When the NCAA declined to change the eligible-man-down-field rule in an apparent attempt to curb the popular "pop pass", few thought much, if anything, of the other minor rule changes that were passed and announced concurrently.
One, however, may directly impact Ohio State. Or more specifically, Buckeyes star running back (and preseason Heisman Trophy front runner) Ezekiel Elliott.
"Officials will treat illegal equipment issues - such as jerseys tucked under the shoulder pads or exposed back pads - by making the player leave the field for at least one play. The equipment must be corrected for the player to return to the game. The player may remain in the game if his team takes a timeout to correct the equipment issue."
Though a debate broke out quickly in some Ohio State circles as to whether or not the rule would pertain to Elliott, whose back pads weren't always visible, Elliott was told to lower the jersey enough times by officials during the 2014/15 season (including in college football's championship game), formal legislation prohibiting his ability to do so seemed only a matter of time.
Elliott told Bleacher Report's Ben Axelrod last season the reason he wore the jersey up was somewhat as a competitive advantage. "I like my jersey tucked up ... I don't like people being able to grab on me," he said.
And don't think the news is being taken lightly by the Elliott family. Ezekiel's father, Stacy, is not a fan of the new restriction:
In protest I will wear a #croptop jersey all next SEASON! #InCropsWeTrust #GoBucks @SurvivinAmerica @itz_mizdee @candicenbc4— Ambassador Elliott (@stacy_elliott) March 9, 2015
Ezekiel himself's been mostly mum on the issue, but did manage to take the time to retweet a few humor accounts' take on the subject:
NCAA: We're banning crop tops. Shawn Oakman&Ezekiel Elliott: No you're not. NCAA: You're right, our bad. pic.twitter.com/U52QfzEzXE— Ashley Dickson (@AshleyD1012) March 8, 2015
Ncaa : we're banning crop tops @EzekielElliott : I don't want to hear that nonsense #InCropTopsWeTrust pic.twitter.com/f1HwTMYWa6— Ohio State Football (@OsuFunny) March 9, 2015
Of course, only one question still remains: what if Elliott (and others with similar sartorial flair) simply elected to wear shorter/smaller jerseys?