Seven ACC schools will play their spring games this weekend, but the teams aren't the only ones looking to get better.
You might notice an eighth official has been added to the crews this spring. This is part of a national experiment authorized by the NCAA to determine the feasibility and benefit of increased officiating. Because of the speed of the game, the popularity of no-huddle and hurry-up offenses, and an increased emphasis on player safety, timing and substitutions, some officiating experts are wondering if more eyes will pay off. The Big 12 apparently thinks so, as the conference will use eight officials this fall.
ACC officials will also use the North Carolina and NC State spring games to experiment with a wireless communications system that provides all seven crew members with the ability to speak to each other during the game. The NCAA has approved the testing and it is being evaluated for benefits like speeding up the relaying of foul information and other things like clock status, substitutions, ball location and formations. It was also used this past weekend at Virginia. It's a pricey upgrade and one the ACC isn't entirely sold on yet.