Football Coaches Ticked over Proposed No-Huddle Rule
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Is college football about to adopt one of the old edicts of the NFL?
You know: If you can't beat it, ban it.
That's what the megalodon of North American sports seemingly works tirelessly to do, from formatting schedules that promote 8-8 records -- and thus keep teams in the playoff hunt to the benefit of turnstile counts and television ratings -- to legislating against no-huddle, quick-count offenses like it did against Sam Wyche and the Cincinnati Bengals.
The NCAA cannot directly do anything about schedules, but it's going to give hobbling no-huddles the old college try.
The NCAA 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.
And if ever the coaches who deploy no-huddle offenses had to name a spokesman to respond of their behalf, it would be Roman Moronie:
For more specific arguments against the proposed rule, start with Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze:
“Is there documented medical evidence that supports this rule change that tempo offenses are putting players at a higher degree of risk than others? If there is then show it to us.”
Freeze then made more sense:
“You can do it the last two minutes of the game. Isn’t that when you should be most fatigued?"
The biggest complaint about the no-huddle causing injuries was from Alabama coach Nick Saban, who brought up the subject in 2012. Some are calling this the 'Saban Rule' but he isn't the only coach who complained about this.
Arkansas coach Bret Bielema also expressed his concern over this, as well. So much so that last summer he and Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn got into it last year at SEC Media Days.
Cue Mike Leach at Washington State:
"... Anytime someone doesn’t want to go back to the drawing board or re-work their solutions to problems, then what they do is to beg for a rule. I think it’s disgusting.
"That's really insulting that they are hiding behind player safety just because somebody wants an advantage. That's crazy.
"My suggestion is rather than spending a bunch of time coming up with a bunch of really stupid rules, spend that time coaching harder. Worry about your own team and try to make your product better rather than trying to change the game so you don't have to do anything."
Among other factors, teams from Oregon and Arizona to Texas A&M and Auburn have recruited to a speedy system for years. A sudden rule change such as this wouldn't give them much time to re-tool. That's the real hypocrisy at work here.
The committee will vote on this proposal in three weeks. While it's doubtful the rule will pass unless they have a mountain of supporting medical evidence as Freeze mentioned, it's one of the most knee-jerk, blatant, regressive actions they'll ever have taken.
As the esteemed Mr Moronie would say, "Those bastiches!"