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NCAA reverses policy on not allowing pregame videos in FCS playoffs

FARGO -- Upon further review, the NCAA will allow teams to show their normal pregame introductory videos for the remainder of the Division I FCS playoffs.

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North Dakota State University head football coach Chris Klieman leads the team onto the field for the home opener Saturday, September 13, 2014, against the University of Incarnate Word at the Fargodome. NDSU won 58-0. Dave Wallis / The Forum

FARGO - Upon further review, the NCAA will allow teams to show their normal pregame introductory videos for the remainder of the Division I FCS playoffs.

Earlier this week, the NCAA sent out a memo that clarified its position of not allowing host teams from showing their normal regular-season videoboard content, including team introduction videos.

North Dakota State fans have become accustomed to watching their team take the field to an entrance video set to the AC/DC song "Thunderstruck." The video is about one minute long and precedes the Bison coming onto the Gate City Bank Field turf at the Fargodome.

"It's a relief," said Justin Swanson, NDSU's assistant director of athletics for marketing and fan engagement. "Most importantly though, we think of our fans, it's such an important part of the game-day experience. It's something they look forward to."

Many NDSU fans voiced their displeasure on social media this week after they heard the entrance video wouldn't be played on Saturday, Dec. 10, for the FCS quarterfinals against South Dakota State at the Fargodome.

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"It was the talk," Swanson said. "I think they were disappointed whether it was a hardcore season-ticket holder or a casual observer."

If the host team shows its entrance video, the visiting team will also be provided the opportunity to show its standard video, too, according to the NCAA release. Swanson said SDSU "respectfully" declined to have its video play for Saturday's game.

If NDSU wasn't allowed to play its entrance video, Swanson said the plan was the use the "Thunderstruck" audio along with live shots from the Fargodome. For example, having a camera fixed on the NDSU's locker room door until the team came out or cutting away to shots of the national championship banner.

"Our fans are outstanding," Swanson said. "We knew they would have made the atmosphere tremendous, intro video or not."

The Bison will also play their customary hype video that ends moments before the entrance video starts. The hype video is generally around two minutes long and usually shows highlights from earlier in the season or past seasons.

"At the end of the day, (we're) happy the NCAA changed their decision and they're allowing schools to play the videos," Swanson said.

The NCAA released the following statement Wednesday, Dec. 7:

"The NCAA desires to have a great atmosphere to create a positive experience for the student-athletes, coaches, and fans in attendance at all rounds of the 2016 NCAA Division I Football Championship. After considerable discussion and feedback from the membership, a determination has been made to allow host institutions the option of showing their normal pregame introductory video the remainder of the championship. If the host institution chooses to show their normal team introduction video, the visiting team will also be provided the opportunity to show their standard video."

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NDSU head coach Chris Klieman and his seniors lead the team out of the locker room to take the field against Western Illinois last Saturday wearing their new green harvest helmets. Even though it was my day off, this was a shot I had to have, you just had the feeling they were amped up and ready to go. Especially watching Brian Schaetz on the walk through, he was a caged grizzly ready to let loose. David Samson / The Forum
NDSU head coach Chris Klieman and his seniors lead the team out of the locker room to take the field against Western Illinois last Saturday wearing their new green harvest helmets. Even though it was my day off, this was a shot I had to have, you just had the feeling they were amped up and ready to go. Especially watching Brian Schaetz on the walk through, he was a caged grizzly ready to let loose. David Samson / The Forum

Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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