In an effort to limit Nick Saban’s legion of staffers from having an impact on game day, the NCAA passed a rule limiting teams to 20 headsets. Saban and his former lieutenant Jimbo Fisher may have discovered a way around this rule when they won the 2003 national championship at LSU.
“I had a fake headset,” said former LSU quarterback Matt Flynn on “Off the Bench” on 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge.
Flynn redshirted as a freshman in 2003, but that didn’t stop Fisher from finding a role for him. “The wire was actually tucked into my pants,” he said.
“I was a dummy signaler on the sideline,” he continued.
“It was definitely Jimbo,” Flynn said when asked who instructed him to do so. “He said, ‘you’re wearing this’ and I said ‘Yes sir, may I have another.’”
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel passed the legislation in May limiting teams to 20 headsets, including 15 coaches.
“I saw that rule and I was like, ‘What about fake headsets,’” he said. “Because that’s what I wore all year. Proudly wore it. Gave some crazy dummy signals and that’s why we won the natty.”
Flynn bookended his career in Baton Rouge with title teams. He was merely a dummy signaler in 2003, but was the starting quarterback on the 2007 championship team.
Now, thanks to Flynn’s disclosure, game officials responsible for counting headsets in Tuscaloosa and College Station this year will have to check for wires harmlessly tucked into britches as well.
(You can follow Matt Moscona on Twitter @MattMoscona)
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