Add Georgia’s Mark Richt to the growing list of coaches to question the NCAA rules committee’s substitution proposal.
The proposed rule stipulates an offense would be assessed a five-yard penalty for snapping the ball in the first 10 seconds of the 40-second play clock. It was ostensibly proposed to help prevent injuries, though it’s appeared far more targeted at curbing hurry-up offenses.
To Richt, there’s not enough proof that slowing down offenses would better prevent injuries.
“I feel like if you can train offensive players to play five or six plays in a row, you can train defensive players to play that many plays in a row, too,” Richt said, via the Athens Banner-Herald’s Marc Weizser. “I personally don’t think it’s a health issue deal, but if there’s some evidence otherwise, it will be interesting to see it. … I think it’s somebody’s assumption. I don’t think there’s any hard evidence on it.”
Richt isn’t necessarily taking sides here — he said the rule change wouldn’t affect his offense — but he’s meeting it with a healthy dose of skepticism. That’s a good thing. Gus Malzahn, Rich Rodriguez and Kevin Sumlin are among the coaches who’ve spoken out against the proposal, and Richt didn’t sound like it would pass even if some validity to the claims is discovered.
The proposal is scheduled to be reviewed by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel on March 6.