Hurry Up And Slow Down

On February 19, 2014, in Sporting News, by admin

NCAAJust when the game of football seemed to be evolving to a faster paced, more action filled game, the NCAA rules committee has proposed a new regulation that would slow the game back down. In doing so the committee has polarized the college football community like nothing that has come up in recent memory.

Fans, players and coaches are really taking this proposed rule change personally and proponents of both sides are lining up to make their cases with the public, although it looks like the public will not have anything to say about how it all comes out.

Since Chip Kelly and his Oregon Ducks revolutionized college football with their hurry up offense, there have been coaches who loved the idea and others who hated it. Now we are going to find out which side will win. Conference and even national championships could be at stake here, not to mention big time television money.

Another one of the guys who founded the ‘zone read spread hurry-up offense’ is Rich Rodriquez, the head coach at the University of Arizona who feels that if these rule changes go through they will be like a ‘loaded gun aimed at the heart of what he does’. Changing the rules would mean changing his offensive philosophy and radically change the way that he teaches football at Arizona.

What the NCAA rules committee has proposed is a rule which forbids an offense to snap the ball during the first 10 seconds of the 30 seconds they have to start the play after the official signals ready to go.  The stated reason for the change is to allow substitutions of defensive players on and off the field.  As the rules stand now, a defensive player would have to wait until a time out is called in order to get off the field.

At least that is what some are saying that the rule change is all about.  Others disagree saying that the sole purpose of the proposed changes is to put a stop to the hurry up offensives that are becoming so popular in football these days.

Arkansas’ coach Bret Bielema and Alabama’s Nick Saban both addressed the rules committee in Indianapolis before the proposal was made, and both coaches are known to be vocal opponents of the hurry-up offense.

Coach David Cutcliffe of Duke put it best, “There seems to be a line drawn along the philosophy of how you like to play the game.”


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