Stadium operations staff members across the Southeastern Conference can dust off that old Jock Jams CD, as the league is reportedly altering its rules regarding music played over the loudspeakers during games.
Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald (h/t Kevin McGuire, CollegeFootballTalk) quotes Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity as saying that the SEC will now allow music to be played between plays until the quarterback is under center or set in the shotgun, mirroring the current rules in the ACC:
McGarity said the SEC has relaxed its rules on playing music over the stadium sound system that should give Georgia the same kind of environment during the game as the Bulldogs saw in last year’s season-opener at ACC member Clemson.
'They were able to do things in the ACC that we were not in the SEC,' McGarity said. 'The rules have changed now for 2014 where we’re able to utilize songs and music up until the point when the quarterback gets over the ball. That’s a big change in the in-game atmosphere.'
This will be a marked change in the game-day experience in the South, which is already notorious for having some of the toughest environments in college football.
According to Weiszer, McGarity is a member of a SEC working group, headed by Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin, that addresses marketing, promotion and fan attendance.
It's no secret that attendance is down in college football and in many other sports. While many fans are choosing the comfort and convenience of watching at home on HDTV rather than forking over the time and money to attend a game, athletic departments are forced to adapt to attract crowds.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban went public with his concerns over the issue, blasting Crimson Tide fans for leaving at halftime during early-season blowouts last year, as Michael Casagrande of AL.com detailed.
While a little music won't be the ultimate fix to the issue, it certainly can't hurt, particularly when it is still up to each individual stadium to decide when and what music it plays.
Many programs around the country identify with one or two songs played throughout each game. South Carolina is the best example in the SEC with its towel-waving "Sandstorm" madness.
If nothing else, this rule change will give SEC stadium operations officials something to do this spring. McGarity noted that UGA would likely test a few audio adjustments during its spring game.