Alabama head coach Nick Saban has been criticized for his stance against up-tempo offensive trends but he is not backing down. Saban stood firm with his stance on Tuesday, according to a report by ESPN.com.
“I don’t care about getting blamed for this. That’s part of it,” Saban told ESPN.com. “But I do think that somebody needs to look at this very closely.”
Saban is referring to his reported influence on the NCAA’s Football Rules Committee and their decision to put a new rule up for a vote. The defensive rule substitution rule proposal would prevent offenses from snapping the football for the first ten seconds on the play clock. Doing so would penalize the offense five yards for a delay of game penalty. Under the proposed rule, defenses would be given an opportunity to substitute players without fear of the opposing offense snapping the football early. That vote will be held on Thursday and it is not expected to have enough support from those casting the votes. Regardless of how the vote plays out, Saban still believes data needs to be compiled analyzing the impact of up-tempo offenses on the game and the potential threat it poses to players.
“The fastball guys (up-tempo coaches) say there’s no data out there, and I guess you have to use some logic,” Saban said. “What’s the logic? If you smoke one cigarette, do you have the same chances of getting cancer if you smoke 20? I guess there’s no study that specifically says that. But logically, we would say, ‘Yeah, there probably is.'”
Saban may have a point, one that has been made before. The more plays a game has, the increased opportunity there is for a player to be injured. This threat is equal to offensive and defensive players of course. The need to study the effects up-tempo offenses have on the game is there with the game transforming over time. Having all of the information available is always a good idea if this is the way the game is going to be played.
But who conducts the study? How will data be compiled and analyzed? Nobody seems to have an answer to those questions at this time.