The NCAA will allow student-athletes to wear a commemorative patch on their jerseys in support of social justice issues starting in the 2020-21 seasons.
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel announced the ruling Thursday. Student-athletes will now be allowed to wear a patch on the front and the back of their jerseys.
“The patch on the front, which most sports already allowed, as authorized by the school or conference, may be a commemorative/memorial patch (names, mascots, nicknames, logos and marks) intended to celebrate or memorialize people, events or other causes,” the NCAA said in a news release.
“The patch must not exceed 2¼ square inches and must be placed on the front or sleeve of the uniform. While not all team members are required to wear the patch, they must be identical for those who choose to wear them.
“The second location is on the back of the uniform where the player name is traditionally located and, as authorized by the school or conference, will allow names/words intended to celebrate or memorialize people, events or other causes. The names or words may vary by team member.”
It’s unclear whether there will be a pre-approved list for student-athletes to choose from.
The change comes as leagues across the U.S. take more initiative in supporting social justice issues. The NFL will reportedly allow teams to have social justice messages in the end zone and on the back of helmets during the first week of the 2020 season.