"A referee stopped action during Tuesday night's Central Michigan-Toledo game because cheerleaders and band members were too loud when the Rockets were trying to snap the ball ..."
That's an example of horrible "journalistic" writing because no details were provided.
What were the band members doing? Were they playing their instruments or simply yelling? How were the cheerleaders generating noise?
The numskulls in the video attached to that story are ignorant of NCAA rules. But it's sports or entertainment, and I never expect much intelligence associated with sports.
If you watch a college football game, the band(s) may play short songs between plays, but they stop playing when the offense approaches the line of scrimmage. The bands cannot play their instruments when the QB is barking out signals.
I have no idea if it's against the rules for cheerleaders to yell through their megaphones when the offense is at the line of scrimmage, but it might be, or it might be up to the interpretation of the head official.
And Molsonator has a point about whistles in the crowd and people simulating snap counts.
Again, the above story lacks details as to what really occurred. Writing only "too loud" is lame reporting.
2015 NCAA FOOTBALL RULES AND INTERPRETATIONS - (pdf file)
SECTION 2. Unsportsmanlike Conduct Fouls
ARTICLE 1. There shall be no unsportsmanlike conduct or any act that interferes with orderly game administration on the part of players, substitutes, coaches, authorized attendants or any other persons subject to the rules, before the game, during the game or between periods. Infractions for these acts by players are administered as either live-ball or dead-ball fouls depending on when they occur. (A.R. 9-2-1-I-X)
b. Other prohibited acts include:
5. Persons subject to the rules, including bands, shall not create any noise that prohibits a team from hearing its signals (Rule 1-1-6).
PENALTY — Dead-ball foul. 15 yards from the succeeding spot [S7 and S27]. Automatic first down for fouls by Team B if not in conflict with other rules. Flagrant offenders, if players or substitutes, shall disqualified [S47].
Apparently, the NCAA has an issue with this.
Persons subject to the rules, including bands, shall not create any noise that prohibits a team from hearing its signals (Rule 1-1-6).
It's possible that the only person who had an issue with the alleged noise in last night's UT-CMU game was the head official. It's hard to tell from the bad reporting.
And even if the Rockets complained to the official, what's wrong with that? Since when is it bad for a team to try to exploit every legal avenue for their own benefit?
Coaches "working" the refs has been a part of all levels of football for a long time. Most of the time, the refs ignore the coaches, but sometimes the whining pays off.
While the referees rarely get involved in noise levels, it is against rule 9-2-1-b for players, cheerleaders or school bands to interfere with a team’s ability to hear the signals, a rule which also extends to Mississippi State fans and their beloved cowbells, and can cost a team 15 yards.
It sounded like the head official said:
"There's no noise from the band or the cheerleaders to interrupt the snap. Reset the play clock to 25 seconds."