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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

February 14, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Debate continues about NCAA proposal to slow offenses

Happy Valentine’s Day, all. Hopefully your early-morning outing for flowers was smoother than mine. (Note to self: Leave the kids home next time!)

With little else happening around college football, and with most of the Washington coaching staff on vacation, the debate continues about the NCAA proposal to allow a 10-second window for defenses to substitute.

It’s an important discussion, no doubt.

According to USA Today, Alabama’s Nick Saban and Arkansas’ Bret Bielema participated in NCAA Football Rules Committee discussions about the proposal but they did not have a vote. Saban and Bielema are, of course, defensive-minded coaches, and the public backlash against the proposal has come from coaches who run a no-huddle or up-tempo offense (or both).

In a radio interview, Washington State’s Mike Leach again blasted the proposal, calling it “one of the most mind-numbingly dumb suggestions that I’ve ever heard.”

UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone also weighed in, telling the Los Angeles Times, “Why don’t we just do away with the play clock and wait for the defense to say they’re ready? We could have the quarterback go over to the other team’s sideline and ask if it’s OK to snap the ball.”

And here’s our own Jerry Brewer with his take on the issue. Brewer wrote:

The committee wants to change the rule to allow for defensive substitutions within the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock. If an offense snapped the ball before 29 seconds remained on the clock, it would be called for a penalty — a delay-of-game penalty, which is the funniest thing I’ve heard this week.

Actually, it’s the second-funniest thing I’ve heard. What’s more laughable than calling a delay penalty on a team trying to hurry up? It’s the committee’s contention that the rule change is needed for player safety. The NCAA didn’t offer any data on rising injury rates because of pace of play. It didn’t detail how this rule could curb injuries, other than making the layman’s claim that more plays per game carries more risk.

It’s worth noting that there doesn’t appear to be any “hard data,” the national coordinator of officiating told CBSsports.com, to support the committee’s claim that up-tempo offenses put players at greater injury risk.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, by the way, is one of the 11 members on the Playing Rules Oversight Panel. Some of the PROP members apparently weren’t aware this issue was going to be brought to them until this week, according to the CBSsports.com story.

The debate, no doubt, will continue to swirl until the panel meets on March 6.

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