The coach everyone’s been waiting to hear from on the NCAA’s new 10-second defensive substitution proposal spoke today.
Gus Malzahn is like every other coach who has voiced his concern over the proposed rule – he wants injury evidence. No, Malzahn wasn’t calling the proposal preposterous or crazy like a few of his colleagues. Instead, he offered a solution.
Because this isn’t a rule change year, Malzahn, who has been in contact with the chairman of the committee Troy Calhoun, proposes the NCAA sideline the proposal until next year, which will be a rule-change year. Malzahn wants a healthy debate and some real documentation there’s truly an injury concern.
“The bottom line: This is not a rule-change year,” Malzahn said. “For a rule to be changed, it has to be under the umbrella of health and safety. And the fact that there’s absolutely zero evidence, documented evidence, that is hazardous on the pace of play, only opinions.
“What I asked him [Calhoun] to do is move this to next year where it is a rule-change year, that we can hear both sides and have a healthy debate on moving forward with the rules.”
Who wouldn’t want to see an ESPN panel made up of Malzahn, Kevin Sumlin and Hugh Freeze against Bret Bielema and Nick Saban? Talk about ratings – they would soar.
Malzahn said the 10-second rule would change the dynamics of football, and he believes the quarterbacks would have to be coached differently.
“It changes the dynamics of traditional football in a lot more ways than anyone would think,” Malzahn said. “Not just if you get behind by a couple touchdowns and it’s late in the game, you couldn’t properly come back. But the way you coach your quarterbacks. Because it wouldn’t just be 10 seconds. You got a 5-yard penalty, so it would probably be more of the four or five seconds into that.”
Malzahn contended he is concerned about player safety, but he added he can’t agree with the rule if there’s no evidence to support it.
“I am first and most concerned about player’s safety and I’ve always been,” Malzahn said. “We play in a very violent game, but as far as this particular rule with no evidence I disagree.
“I’ve been running a fast-paced offense since 1997. I’ve never felt like on either side that it was a health and safety issue — on offense or the other side.”
Malzahn said he has no plans to alter his style of hurry-up play during spring practice. The Rules Oversight Committee votes on the proposed rule on March 6th.
You can watch Malzahn’s entire press conference here.
Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports