By now you probably get the point, but Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs continued to pile on to the defensive rule substitution proposal. Jacobs calls the proposed rule a joke, echoing the sentiments of many other college football coaches in recent weeks.
“It’s a joke, is what it is,” Jacobs said in an interview with AL.com. “Everything’s going faster in sports. You get penalized if you don’t play fast enough in golf. Now you’ve got pitch counts in baseball to throw a pitch. And to think we’re slowing something down without any data is just ridiculous to me. The thing about it is, kids today, they love playing in this hurry-up type offense because it’s fun. So if you like to have fun, you need to go to a place like Auburn.”
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn has been one of the many coaches to come out in opposition to the proposed rule, which is expected to be shot down in a formal vote by the NCAA’s Playing Rules Oversight Committee tomorrow. If passed, offenses would not be allowed to snap the football within the first 10 seconds of the play clock, allowing defenses to substitute without having to rush to keep up with the opposing offense. If an offense snapped the football before the 10 seconds elapsed, the new rule would penalize that team for a delay of game. The reception of the rule has been lopsided against supporting the rule.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban recently defended his stance on the up-tempo style of play and support for the rule proposal. Saban stressed the importance for taking a careful look at the impact up-tempo offensive play has on the health of players, which is probably a good idea once you get past the idea Saban is only looking to regain an advantage in scheming for a game.
The safety of the players is an important issue, and if there is a risk to them as a result of the spread of up-tempo offenses in the game then it is critical to address anything that can be corrected. However, until there is data to support the rule, it is not likely to gain much traction. For now, without any data to support the case for the rule, there is little reason to adopt it.