Fully expect every head coach to have their say about the NCAA’s new rule proposal that will slow hurry-up offenses, because the rule will get voted on March 6th and could be enforced in the 2014 season.
The rules committee is proposing to let defenses substitute within the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock, with the exception of the final two minutes of the half…all in the name of player safety. The offense wouldn’t be allowed to snap the ball until the play clock reached 29 seconds or less, and if it happens, a 5-yard delay of game penalty will be enforced.
Tennessee’s Butch Jones and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin run a similar style of hurry-up offense that could be threatened by the new proposal, and here’s what they had to say about it:
Butch Jones, Tennessee
“I’d like to have research and data before altering and changing the rules of the game,” Jones told WNML radio in an exclusive interview. “I want to see data produced from an injury standpoint. I don’t want opinion. I want facts and figures. Show me the numbers.
“I don’t think it comes down to a matter of safety,” Jones said. “It’s a matter of personal preference.”
“Every program has a style of play, just like every basketball team, from pressing to pushing the ball down the court. Same thing in football. That’s what makes this game; the strategy that goes behind it.”
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
“It caught everybody off-guard,” he told ESPN Radio. “There’s a number of problems with how it was handled, just popping up out of nowhere Saturday. It struck a bad nerve. Where do we go from here? All the evidence points to a meeting yesterday where one coach got in front of the committee to plead his case. The two coaches that were on the committee, along with Bret Bielema, who represents the AFCA obviously had their side of the story they wanted to present. There’s a couple of problems.
“There’s also another side to this whole issue. When it comes to player safety, no one can find a coach in college football that doesn’t make that paramount. There is no evidence out there that suggests that this is a player-safety issue. Everything is done within the rules of the game. Coaching and creativity matter. To be able to eliminate the amount of creativity that goes into the game, that’s bad for the sport.”
The one coach everybody is waiting to hear from is Gus Malzahn, who has yet to make his statements public in response. Several coaches across the country are letting their voices be heard in opposition to the proposal, and I haven’t seen one who has been in favor of it publicly yet, at least aside from Nick Saban and Bret Bielema.
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