The recently-proposed defensive substitution rule is turning out to be a very divisive issue for college football coaches. An army of head men have come out against the proposal, which South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier has dubbed ‘The Saban Rule,’ since it was Alabama’s Nick Saban who publicly complained so much about uptempo offenses last season.
Texas Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury isn’t letting anyone forget the personal stake Saban has in the proposed rule:
“The last three losses he’s had had have been against up-tempo teams. I’ll leave it at that,” Kingsbury said on the Outside The Lines podcast.
“I was surprised that it got that far to be honest,” he continued. “And to put it under the guise of player safety when like everybody said there is no empirical data to back anything even close to that.”
“There is nothing to back that up, to say that if you play at a fast tempo and you’re not allowed a substitute that causes more injuries. Nobody’s ever done a study on that or there’s no scientific data.”
“I don’t know how you can found a rule on just hearsay, basically.”
Ouch. Kingsbury really knows how to pour salt in a wound, doesn’t he?
Whatever the case, there’s still time for the proposal to be withdrawn before it goes before the Playing Rules Oversight Panel on March 6. Will the weight of Saban’s stance be enough to counteract the opinions of so many other college coaches?