You might recall Terrelle Pryor's tribute to Michael Vick in Ohio State's opener last season against Navy. The words "Mike" and "Vick" were written on his eye black.
Vick wasn't alone. Tim Tebow got his faith-based message across each game, and countless other players had a message for viewers, from an area code or simple shout-out to mom.
Those days are coming to an end.
The Football Rules Committee, meeting in Fort Lauderdale, voted to require players who wear eye black to use solid black with no words, logos, numbers or other symbols. The rule will be in effect for the 2010 season, pending approval by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel. The oversight panel regularly rubber stamps recommendations by the rules committee.
Other rules changes include a crackdown on taunting. Players who draw flags for taunting gestures on their way to a touchdown would have the penalty assessed from the spot of the foul, taking away the score. Penalties that occur in the end zone would continue to be assessed on the extra-point attempt, two-point conversion try or ensuing kickoff. That proposal, which received near-unanimous support, would take effect in 2011.
The committee also agreed to stringent standards on players who have suffered a concussion. Such players will now have to be cleared by a doctor before returning to competition.
TV monitors will be allowed in coaches' booths in press boxes beginning in 2011. Feeds and equipment for home and visiting teams must be identical.
There will also be a requirement for a 10-yard buffer zone for pregame warmups. A no-player zone will be mandated between the 45-yard lines 60 minutes before kickoff.