March 5th, 2014 11:00 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Air Force, Alabama, Coach Butch Jones, Coach Kevin Sumlin, Troy Calhoun
If you’ve noticed many of the up-tempo-inclined football coaches of the SEC saying many of the same things regarding a proposed rule change to slow down the game… there’s a reason. Several of the league’s coaches have been working the media and members of the Football Rules Committee with a similar script.
On Tuesday, Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze had this to say regarding a proposal to allow 10 seconds for defensive substitutions between plays:
“We’ve kind of structured a nationwide attack of how we’ll go about (getting our) voices heard before this is final. From our conference, Coach (Kevin) Sumlin, Gus (Malzahn), myself and Coach (Butch) Jones ahve led the way the most and Coach (Steve) Spurrier. We divided up names that we were going to call that we felt like had an interest in this.”
The battle over the rule — a battle that will be won by the no-huddle, up-tempo coaches, by the way — is being fought squarely in the Southeastern Conference. While the aforementioned coaches are against the rule, Nick Saban and Bret Bielema have made it clear they’re in favor of it. Saban because of injury risk and officials not being in the proper position to view hurry-up plays; Beilema for every reason under the sun, including “death.” Literally.
Freeze added: “There’s a very important conference call tomorrow that the rules committee is maybe being instructed to reconvene and be sure their thoughts are all the same after the feedback has been received. We’ll see if they continue after their meeting or whatever it is tomorrow; if they get together and decide this is going to move forward then we hope and pray that the prop committee see that there’s not adequate evidence under the umbrella of player safety to push that rule through in a non-rule change year.”
Air Force coach Troy Calhoun — the head of the committee — has already said publicly that he does not believe the proposed rule will be approved without “pretty resounding (evidence)” that “it is a safety concern.” To date, no such evidence has been put forward. Which is why we don’t think this thing should be of very much concern for fans of no-huddle, up-tempo teams.
Though fighting against a windmill at this point, Saban has finally began pushing the rather obvious point that we have shared in recent weeks — logic dictates that playing more plays increases the risk of injury.
“The fastball guys (up-tempo coaches) say there’s no data out there, and I guess you have to use some logic,” Alabama’s coach told ESPN. ”What’s the logic? If you smoke one cigarette, do you have the same chances of getting cancer if you smoke 20? I guess there’s not study that specifically says that. But logically, we would say, ‘Yeah, there probably is.’”
But without evidence, there will be no rule change this year.
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