Butch Jones, Kevin Sumlin chime in on proposal that will slow hurry-up offenses


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.

Related: Hugh Freeze already fired back at the proposal

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.

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports



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  • Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun is for it and is the chair of the NCAA Football Rules Committee

  • It’s ridiculous. I don’t think I’d have near the problem I currently do if Saban & Beilema just had the balls to say that it is a competitive issue & not a “safety” issue. Just admit that it the up-tempo offenses are more difficult to defend, and you want to limit it with a rules change. Don’t dishonestly bring in player safety as your reasoning.

    • These big players that these schools recruit will be out of a job if they continue, they can;t go 10 to 15 minutes without rest it will cause big injury to them and you know it. When a team with big players players play taxes A % m and Auburn last year you could see the players dragging after 5 minutes and getting worse after 10 if you say they were not hurting and prone to injuries you weren’t watching the game. or you don’t care just to get your team a big advantage.

  • Really! I agree show the injury stats from hurry up offenses. The no huddle is very hard to defend because they can’t get a good read on the defense and make adjustments, so because you can’t figure the offense out quickly you want to change the rule. This is the SEC suck it up and play the game this is not flag football !!!!!!!!!!

  • By Saban & Bielema’s logic, Bear Bryant wouldn’t have been able to install “The Wishbone” in the ’60s & ’70s or Steve Spurrier wouldn’t have been able to challenge the league with his “Fun n’ Gun” offense in the ’90s, advancing SEC football to what it is today… The best football conference in the nation! The Bear & the Ol’ Ball Coach were innovators, who made advancements for the good of the game, not just their personal agendas (ala Saban & Bielema). The next innovation is STOPPING the “Hurry Up, No Hudddle.” These two need to focus their time thinking of ways to stop it, rather than trying to change the rules to slow down progress. If Saban & Bielema want the game slowed down that badly, they should go back to coaching in the Big 10.

  • I am a huge Razorback fan, but not a Bret Bielema fan. I find it funny how many Razorback fans are for this issue now, but were against it when Petrino was coaching at Arkansas. Saban and Bielema need to both admit it’s not a safety issue. What this amounts to is running the 2 minute drill the entire length of the game. So let’s allow it for 2 minutes each half only, give me a break. Coach and condition your players to defend the hurry up offense and it will not be an issue.

    • If they’re going to allow the defense 10 seconds why have a play clock? The whole thing is so ridiculously arbitrary it should be thrown out until someone does a study.

  • I agree with Saban and Bulemia. But why stop there. The NCAA basketball rules committee needs to stop the sensless and dangerous practice of Fast-Breaking in roundball. They need to count to 10 after every basket and rebound to let the defenses walk back and setup SAFELY. Enough of the insanity; THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!

  • I say let them keep running it. The rebels didn’t score one offensive td in the last game of the season running it.

  • Do any of you really think that if player safety was NOT Coach Saban’s concern that he wouldn’t be able to recruit and coach the players he would need to stop the HUNH offense. He’s a defensive Guru, and gets the players he wants, even from out from under Awbarn’s nose. The offensive coaches that run the HUNH know they can’t beat a good defense unless they attack them before they are ready. So which side is right? Who knows?

  • I have lost ALL respect for Saban and Bielema. Saban struggles with A&M, Auburn and got whipped by OU in the Sugar. Bielema now has to play Mizzou every year, in addition to Auburn and A&M. All these teams run very high tempo attacks. So what do these two pathetic whiners do? Rather than roll up their sleeves and adjust, they want to change the rules to slow things down. How freakin weak is that? Furthermore, would most fans rather see ARK and Bama go toe to toe with double-tight formations and a cloud of dust, or see Auburn-Mizzou rack up 1,131 yds and 101 points? Saban is just scared if he can’t stack the deck and Bielema sees his Big-10 style attack being impossible to recruit in the face of being surrounded in the north, west, and south, by Mizzou, OU, OSU, Texas, Baylor, Tech, and A&M. Weak. Pathetic.

  • Sounds to me like Saban and Beilema need to learn how to condition their players… That’s still part of the game right? Just sayin

  • The supporters of slowdown seem to have this perception that the Hurry up teams have an advantage. We don’t, we have to defend against the same thing. Take the Championship game where AUburn did a much better job then Mizzou of exploiting this and handed us our butts. The “wait we need to get our behemoths off the field”, seems to indicate a one dimensional type of player.

    • The next football Hollywood production? A Clint Eastwood production: The Fat, The Slow, and the Dim Witted. The leading man will be Mongo from Blazing Saddles. The plot will be football players in their dressing rooms keeping fans waiting because the don’t have their make-up right yet. Networks love this for modern sports television, because …. can you imagine how much money it will make with those 10 second commercial spots worked into every play. The Aflac Duck can go from appearing 30 times per game to around 200.