While the NCAA rules committee mulls a proposal to allow defenses 10 seconds to substitute before offenses snap the ball, one of the leading proponents of the up-tempo, no-huddle offense is making no bones about his opposition to it.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said on Tuesday that “There’s absolutely zero evidence, documented evidence, that is hazardous on the pace of play, only opinions,” referring to the supposed safety concerns behind the rules change.
Malzahn went further and asked the chairman of the rules committee, Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun, to table the proposal for a year “so we can hear both sides and have a healthy debate on moving forward with the rules.”
Calhoun seemed to agree with Malzahn’s arguments during a radio interview this week.
“If there is no medical data that can support it, then there’s no way,” Calhoun told The Tim Brando Show. “There should not be a rule. Now, if you go and there’s truly … a resounding concern by people who should have the right insight and right background from the medical community that, indeed, if you don’t have a substitution pattern in place or be able to provide adequate rest and recovery for somebody, then I think you have an obligation to bring that up.”
So with the chairman of the rules committee casting doubts on the proposal, what now?
As things stand, the proposal will be heard by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel on March 6. But the rules committee could decide to pull the proposal before then.
Malzahn isn’t the only coach speaking up against the proposed rule. Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez labeled the rule “ridiculous,” while Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin called it “an attempt to limit the creativity of the game.”
But for now, Malzhan’s voice is probably the most prominent.
“I would like to think that it wouldn’t (pass),” Malzahn said. “I’m just going to do everything in my power, the right way, to stand up.