Coaches cry foul over proposed rule

"What's next? You can only have three downs? If you play that extra down you have more chance of injury."

Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze said he found about the proposal when he got a phone call from Auburn's Gus Malzahn, a fellow advocate of up-tempo offense.

"I said, 'Y'all are kidding me. That's not true,' " Freeze said he told Malzahn.

Freeze said he was skeptical of the health risks presented by up-tempo offense because he's never seen any data to support the claim.

"I would think they would have some type of study that proves that," he said.

Rodriguez has been pushing the pace with his teams for more than two decades and doesn't buy safety concerns.

"If that was the case wouldn't every team that went fast in practice have more injuries?" he said.

Freeze and Rodriguez both said their offenses rarely get plays off within 10 seconds of the ball being spotted.

"If they say it's not occurring anyway, why put in a rule?" Freeze said. "I just don't really understand what we gain from this other this rule other than a chance to create more chaos."

It's not just the up-tempo coaches who voiced their disapproval with the proposal.

"I just spent two days at Big Ten meetings and it wasn't even brought up," Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said. "It doesn't make sense to me."

The Scarlet Knights ranked 84th in the country in plays per game (71).

Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville, a former defensive coordinator whose team averaged 78 plays per game (28th in the nation), said the proposal was never discussed during last month's American Football Coaches of Association convention.

"This came out of left field," he said. "It's wrong."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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