College football teams are allowed to have players with duplicate numbers. They’re just not allowed to have two of the same number on the field at the same time.
In Maryland’s game at Texas on Saturday, the Terps violated that rule. During an extra-point try, two players wearing No. 57 joined Maryland’s line. Those are Seun Oluwatim and Richard Merritt, a defensive and offensive lineman who usually don’t share the field. But they did on the PAT try, and the refs caught them in the act.
Maryland needed to pay a five-yard penalty and try the extra point again, and the Terps did that without any problem. Still, it’s kind of funny whenever this happens.
From the NCAA’s rulebook:
All players shall be numbered 1 through 99. Any number preceded by zero (“0’’) is illegal. ... No two players of the same team shall participate in the same down wearing identical numbers.
Last year, Michigan State got flagged for doing the same thing, with two Nos. 22:
In the pantheon of “football penalties that are literally impossible to argue with,” this one’s always going to come in right at the top.