SEC will relax rules regarding sound and music between plays


SEC home teams could get a boost this season with an added flavor of louder music in between plays with an effort to pump up the crowd.

MORE: The real reason live game attendance is down

Georgia AD Greg McGarity said the SEC would relax its rules on playing music in between plays, much like the ACC already does now. The Clemson trip must have been an eye-opener for McGarity, according to Athens Banner-Herald.

“If you need to get people revved up for a big third-down play, you can do that,” McGarity said. “You could always do it with your band, but now you can do it any way you want to. You still have to stop once the quarterback gets over the ball, gets under the center or in the shotgun.”

“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.

“Those of us who saw what it did at Clemson, it energized their fan base with certain songs.”

In the past, SEC home teams could not play loud music in between plays; only the band could play. Now, that looks like it has changed, and it’s all in an effort to help combat declining attendance and give fans a better in-game atmosphere. The music must stop when the quarterback gets over the ball – that hasn’t changed. But along with intense crowd noise, music has been added to the home team’s repertoire.

RELATED: SEC football attendance by team

Of course, the younger generation of fans will enjoy louder rap and rock music, but how will that affect the traditionalists and the older generation of fans? The likelihood isn’t much, considering they’ve most likely had season tickets for a very long time and won’t give those up.

My question is that if the SEC is going to be more relaxed on in-game sound and music, does that move the line of artificial noisemakers any, a la cowbells at Mississippi State? Currently, cowbells are only allowed to ring during pregame and timeouts, at halftime and after a Bulldogs’ score.

I’m interested to hear more about this rule, and I’m sure there will be discussions about it in the spring meetings and at SEC Media Days.

Photo Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE



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  • A stronger non conference schedule would result in higher attendance.

    • That’s a major reason that could increase attendance. The biggest ‘fan’ things outside of the game itself is tailgating and parking entry/exit after game. Schools should really hone in on the fan experience to try and increase fan experience, thus increasing attendance.

      • Absolute horse crap. Nobody wants to hear a bunch of homogenized DJ crap all game. I want to see the game and can’t hear myself think when the terrible music of today is playing.

    • im with you scorecheck – nothing says sparse crowds like a BIG U vs lower middle eastside tech! no amount of cowbells or rap crap witll enfuse the crowd at those kind of matchups

  • I can understand relaxing the sound rules, but another issues that MUST be addressed is using the jumbotron for distracting graphics. I was shocked when I went to UGA/GT this year and, while UGA was on offense and facing the scoreboard, GT basically turned their jumbotron into a strobe light at times. Sometimes they stopped before the snap and other times, the light continued briefly into the play. I can’t imagine how that wouldn’t affect some QBs, if not all of them, in some unfair way. At least, when the sound is blaring, EVERYONE has to do deal with it, not just the offense.

  • Doesn’t Tenn already have “amped” crowd noise leaving ther mics open so the crowd noise is louder? I for one am not a fan of any artificial music during the time the teams are on the field in “Live” time situations. Team bands ok, but this isn’t Arena football. As for MS State, leave the bells to time outs or half time. Too much leeway as to when to stop or start ringing bells IMO.

    • Why can’t we ring whenever we want? What’s wrong with that?

    • To answer your question about Tenn, that would be a yes

      • Which is ironic given they have the stadium with the most capacity in the SEC. I remember being pissed about that during the UGA-UT game this past year, but the more I think about it, I can live with artificial noise as long as it doesn’t make my ears bleed.

        • Well in years past they haven’t had much to yell about, so I guess they figured they needed all the help they could get

  • Are we still pretending that college football is not basically pro?

  • I don’t mind. The bands certainly don’t play any music to hype up the crowd. Nothing worse than having a critical third down and hearing the band play Sweet Caroline. My God.

  • @ ELMSU – I’m pretty sure Cow Bells meet the definition of an “artificial” noise maker. The NCAA I believe has given much leeway recognizing MSU tradition and still maintaining the spirit of the rule. But I do have a fever….and the only cure is…..

  • I didn’t realize that we were looking to the ACC for leadership. I’d far prefer you just mic the Redcoats, rather than try to turn the stadium into a between play dance club – which I wouldn’t go to, by the way. There aren’t any quiet stadiums in the SEC, except when the matchup is SEC vs The Central Wyoming University of Basket Weaving and Dish Design.

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