NCAA: Messages Banned from Athlete's Faces

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The National Collegiate Athletic Association has ruled that athletes can no longer wear eye black with messages or symbols written on their faces.

Eye black is the paint players put under their eyes to cut down on glare.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel ruled that players can't write anything below their eyes using the paint like the scripture verses used by Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Tim Tebow. He led the Florida Gators to a pair of national championships in his years at the University of Florida.

Tebow is the son of Christian missionaries and used the messages to highlight his faith. He could be picked in the first round of the National Football League draft Thursday night.

The NCAA committee also banned wedge blocks to prevent concussions and taunting. NCAA studies have shown that 20 percent of all injuries occurring on kickoffs result in concussions.

"Everybody is looking to make sure we have a safe environment for the players," said Grant Teaff, executive director of the American Football Coaches Association. "On kickoffs, you have a lot of steam on both sides and you usually have what is called a 'wedge buster.' This will eliminate some of that."

The rules take effect with the start of the 2011 season.

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