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Larry Fedora takes subtle jab at Saban in ripping defensive sub proposal

Larry Fedora AP

To say a new proposal that would essentially put a restrictor plate on up-tempo offenses has gone over like flatulence in church would be an understatement.

The proposal — and it’s just that at the moment — has been almost unanimously assailed by those who cover the sport and, more importantly, those coaching in the sport who’d be directly impacted if the proposal is implemented.  Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy rightly ripped into the proposal.  Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez was none too pleased with it, and neither was Washington State’s Mike Leach among myriad others.

Most scoff in the general direction of the NCAA Football Rules Committee hiding behind the “player safety” argument, with no data to back up the contention at that.  Leach, with all swords swinging, called the entire charade “disgusting… insulting that they are hiding behind player safety just because somebody wants an advantage.”

You can add Larry Fedora to the growing chorus of those questioning the rationale behind the proposal.  The North Carolina head coach, who would be one of many impacted by the rule that would call a delay of game (?!?) penalty on any team that snaps the ball before 10 seconds have run off the play clock, said the committee is “questioning our intelligence with trying to push this under player safety.”  He also took direct — and rightful — aim at the rule allowing defensive substitutions not applying in the last two minutes of the half or the game.

“Now if you’re just going under the assumption that if you play more plays you have more chance for injury – I agree with that,” Fedora said in a phone interview with the Raleigh News & Observer. “But if you’re going to say this is under player safety, but we’re going to do it in the last two minutes of the game, well then are we saying we’re not concerned with player safety in the last two minutes of the game? I mean, come on. I just don’t get that.”

Arkansas’ Bret Bielema and Alabama’s Nick Saban, longtime opponents of up-tempo offenses, had a seat — but not a vote — at the table of the committee that forwarded the proposal to the NCAA Rules Oversight Panel.  In discussing his disgust over the proposed rule change, Fedora took a not-so-thinly-veiled jab at Saban and his collection of recruiting talent.

“I think you’ve got more chance of players getting hurt if the opposing team has too many five-star players on it,” Fedora said. “So let’s just say one team can only sign two five-star players on its team. How about that?”

Earlier this month, the Tide once again claimed the mythical recruiting national championship with a class that featured a whopping six players rated as five-star recruits by

The oversight panel will consider the rules committee’s recommendation and make a ruling on March 6.  Leach has been quoted as saying he “doubts it will pass.”

Here’s to hoping to some of Leach’s and the other coaches’ common sense rubs off on the panel and the beginning of next month is the last we hear of this absurd proposal.

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36 Responses to “Larry Fedora takes subtle jab at Saban in ripping defensive sub proposal”
  1. lbijake says: Feb 14, 2014 3:42 PM

    Love it. I think Saban was hoping this would be passed under the cloak of darkness and his name would not be attached. This will be known as the Saban rule, if passed. Saban is basically saying ” I cannot defend against up tempo teams (Auburn and Texas A&M) so let’s change the rules.

  2. delashmit says: Feb 14, 2014 4:01 PM

    I like Larry Fedora’s suggestion. Only two 5 star players. Take that Nickie Cry Baby.

  3. jtinnon2009 says: Feb 14, 2014 4:08 PM

    There’s absolutely no way this rule change passes. All the “loser” coaches are all over ESPN, sports radio and on the Internet opposing the change. Leach (3-9) (6-7) Kingsbury (8-5) Rich Rod (16-10 two years) Sonny Dykes/Tony Franklin (1-11) High Freeze (8-5) Fedora (7-6). It all adds up. The inferior coaches are trying to find a way for their less talented teams to beat better coaches with more talent. The “losers,” with the help of social media and a number of analysts will get their way and the change will never pass. The “losers” win on this issue.

  4. thefiesty1 says: Feb 14, 2014 4:24 PM

    Ha, Ha! Only 2 five star players. Now that would even them playing field. How about the defense suck it up and get off the field on third down.

  5. thraiderskin says: Feb 14, 2014 4:25 PM

    Offensive football is getting out of hand. I don’t know if this rule is the right one, but how handcuffed can one side of the ball get? Really think about it.

  6. Professor Fate says: Feb 14, 2014 4:27 PM

    Gundy was 10-3 last year. Rodriguez was 8-5. Other teams are moving to adopt up-tempo offenses like USC (10-4). The only thing your argument “adds up” to is that you’re a moron.

  7. Professor Fate says: Feb 14, 2014 4:28 PM

    “Handcuffed?” If you can’t get your fat ass back to the line of scrimmage at the same time as the offense maybe you shouldn’t be out there.

  8. ousteelranger says: Feb 14, 2014 4:29 PM

    Not understanding your loser coca comment. You select a few and a single season as an example. Yet neglect how OU ran over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Why all the changes in a game that has been played for decades with the same rules? Quit screwing with the game and if you can play by the same rules quit playing or the profession. The NFL has already destroyed the concept of defense in the game and maybe all about passing and scoring. Keep football real in the college ranks and the entertainment in the NFL – No Football League.

  9. ousteelranger says: Feb 14, 2014 4:31 PM

    Loser coach correction

  10. jtinnon2009 says: Feb 14, 2014 5:01 PM

    Professor Fate… 10-3 is something to brag about? 8-5 is an accomplishment? I see you have very different standards. Neither will win you a championship of any kind.. Like I stated, the “loser” coaches have found a way to even the playing field. In due course, the “winner” coaches will devise methods to nullify the advantage. Just a passing fad.

  11. guinsrule says: Feb 14, 2014 5:10 PM

    If they’re so worried about player safety, then a team like Alabama shouldn’t be playing physically overmatched teams like Georgia State and Chattanooga.

  12. bigdinla says: Feb 14, 2014 5:29 PM

    Lol at all of the people talking about Saban and crying. Every coach is looking for an advantage. The rules favor the offenses right now and he is trying to adopt the NFL rule or close approximation of it. As to recruiting, look at the players he brought in and you can see his is making the changes to slow down these offenses.

  13. ousteelranger says: Feb 14, 2014 6:21 PM

    Just leave the rules of the game alone. Everyone wants to compare past players to today’s players but, they aren’t even playing the same game anymore. It is getting as bad as the government creating a new law every time you turn around to protect us but, at the same time take something away – freedom. Leave freedom and the game alone.

  14. afewzigzagsplease says: Feb 14, 2014 6:30 PM

    Has a study been done to determine how good a team’s record is after four years with the most five star recruits and/or the highest rated recruiting classes? The U of Texas is usually in the top 10 of highest scores in terms of the number of highly rated recruits, but their recent record doesn’t reflect the perceived quality of their recruiting classes for the past three or four years. Anybody?

  15. willdigg says: Feb 14, 2014 8:04 PM

    If they’re so worried about player safety, then a team like Alabama shouldn’t be playing physically overmatched teams like Georgia State and Chattanooga.

    Oh, so are you saying that those physically overmatched players are the only ones in danger of getting hurt? Or did you just spot this as an opening to take a quick jab at Bama’s OoC scheduling?

    Maybe Bama should schedule an OoC team like, say Nebraska, or maybe USC, or even possibly Florida State instead of Chattanooga right after LSU and right before Auburn, since it seems that they are the only team in America to do this type of scheduling.

  16. lbijake says: Feb 14, 2014 9:49 PM

    jtinnon2009 says:
    Feb 14, 2014 4:08 PM

    There’s absolutely no way this rule change passes. All the “loser” coaches are all over ESPN, sports radio
    Believe Auburn was in the Championship game and Oklahoma had a decent bowl game beating Bama. Bazinga.

  17. 111um says: Feb 14, 2014 10:05 PM

    I do not see how this rule would change much. Isn’t the general rule that once a player is stopped in the field of play and the clock is running that it takes 13 seconds for the team to get to the line and get set. At least that is the amount of time toward the end of the game that they say go for the endzone or make sure you can get out of bounds. Is there something about this rule I am missing like the team has to stay in the huddle for 10 seconds. If not I do not see a team being able to substitute and get set in 10 seconds.

  18. vibeguy2004 says: Feb 14, 2014 10:06 PM

    No need for the 10 second rule. Just make it illegal for the offense to sub out players unless they huddle. If they sub without being in the huddle make it a 5 yard penalty.

  19. mcc325 says: Feb 14, 2014 10:38 PM

    Vibe guy, if the offense subs, the umpire stands over the ball and allows the defense to sub. Offenses gain an advantage by not subbing, thus making the defense choose to sub and risk 12 men on field penalty or staying with same 11 defenders as they tire during a drive….all part of strategy, this would be a dumb rule change

  20. crazyfootballfun says: Feb 15, 2014 1:36 AM

    Concern for player safety? Yeah, right. Does the SEC now get to decide the rules for all of college football?

  21. suprmous says: Feb 15, 2014 7:59 AM

    I still don’t understand how Bret Bielema thinks he can sache into the SEC and think he can become the Top Dawg his first year out. Either he’s got a screw loose or he’s been smokin some mighty strong whacky weed or worse yet gotten into some some hootch that’s damaged his pea brain if he ever had one.

  22. beedubyadee says: Feb 15, 2014 10:04 AM

    Funny… but I don’t seem to remember all of this outrage when this rule was changed:
    ARTICLE 10. No originally ineligible receiver shall be or have been more than three yards beyond the neutral zone until a legal forward pass that crosses the neutral zone has been thrown (A.R. 7-3-10-I and II).
    When I played football back in the late 70s and 80s, an offensive lineman could not be beyond the line of scrimmage on a pass play… period.
    This rule change is a joke and, along with the idiotic targeting rule, I think think it definitely qualifies as a “handcuff”.

  23. vibeguy2004 says: Feb 15, 2014 10:05 AM

    To mcc325-Thanks for pointing that out. I read over the rules and understand it better. I just think that it would be easier to manage all the subbing if the offense was only allowed to sub when in the huddle. Save on confusion. Similar to breaking the huddle with more than 11 men on the field.
    Besides, why do you think it is dumb just because you don’t agree?

  24. voleagle says: Feb 15, 2014 1:07 PM

    OMGosh!!! If all this up tempo action is so dangerous then maybe the basketball gurus should put their heads together and outlaw the fast break and the shot clock. This proposed rule change has nothing to do with injuries. I spent my career in sports medicine. This is an attempt to control game strategy pure and simple.

  25. bigeyedjoe says: Feb 16, 2014 10:20 AM

    Preparation and execution!!! LSU opened the season two years ago with the fastest of them all in Oregon. We prepared all summer and fall for the pace. Not only did we win but it prepared us for games with A&M twice beating them. We even throw in some tempo every now and then to change the pace and gain an advantage. Nicky needs to wake up and keep pace. You see our problem is playing smash mouth with bama and we lose most of the time. That’s ok cause we’ll win our share and Nicky’s butt cheeks are tight every time he faces us cause he screwed up!!!

  26. toe65 says: Feb 16, 2014 10:31 AM

    I can’t believe some of these coaches. The name of the game is to out smart your opponents, and what is being proposed only shows weakness in coaching styles. It also has nothing to do with how many 5 Star Players you recruit, so suck it up and admit you are a weak coach.

  27. tigersdawgs says: Feb 16, 2014 11:41 AM

    Doesn’t the offense do just as much running as the defense? Get the defense in better shape!

  28. tigersdawgs says: Feb 16, 2014 11:44 AM

    I guess next lil Nicky will want a 15 minuite intermission at the end of each quarter to adjust!

  29. tigersdawgs says: Feb 16, 2014 11:46 AM

    If your big power players cant keep up then maybe you need to change your recruiting tactics and go with smaller , faster players! You can’t have it both ways!

  30. gotoheels says: Feb 16, 2014 7:55 PM

    I love the people commenting that the coaches opposed to this proposed rule change are “losers”, weak coaches. This change would essentially negate a major advantage of running an up-tempo, spread offense. That is, creating mismatches and causing the defense to tire by playing at a pace that prevents them from substituting fresh players/ correct personnel. LOL that it would be called a delay of game.

    Saban’s one weakness has been against these type of offenses. No wonder he wants this rule change. It’s for the safety of the players. Definitely. In the name of “player safety” we should probably not allow anyone over 300lbs to play at all. No running backs over 200. No player can run faster than a 4.5 40. All designed run plays can no longer have the rb following a lead blocker out of the backfield. No kickoffs, punt returns, field goals, Hail Marys, triple options, speed options, etc. the game would be so much safer!

    Long story short; No one would’ve have heard a peep out of Saban (or anyone) if the proposed rule threatened to eliminate a major advantage for his offense.

  31. crazyfootballfun says: Feb 16, 2014 8:04 PM

    Go to…..EXACTLY !

  32. roltyd says: Feb 17, 2014 7:37 AM

    In other news, Coach Fedoras appeal to change UNCs colors to lime green to match his recruiting envy was denied by the MCAA Committee on reducing jealousy on the gridiron. Fedora has hired “Coach” Mike Leach as his lead attorney on his Legal Counsel.

  33. roltyd says: Feb 17, 2014 7:41 AM

    You may want to blame CNS for this, because he is an easy target as the best in his field, but there’s a lot more coaches opposing the denial of this rule. Besides, it would be years away before the NCAA Rules Committee makes a decision, if any. As for OU fans, The SOONER you get over winning third place, the better.

  34. lakesidegator says: Feb 17, 2014 12:51 PM

    How about some flag football, with all players wearing 15 lb. ankle weights and 50 lb. backpacks?

  35. harleyspoon says: Feb 19, 2014 1:00 PM

    Baylor was 11-2 with its up-tempo offense…

  36. mogogo1 says: Feb 21, 2014 3:56 PM

    Talk about a poorly thought-out argument. If only “losers” ran up-tempo Saban would be looking to encourage still more teams to do it. You only try to legislate away things you fear.

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