Ten-second rule proposal tabled

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The NCAA Football Rules Committee on Wednesday tabled the controversial 10-second rule proposal that would have slowed college offenses, sources told ESPN.com.

The committee's decision came the day before the NCAA's 11-member playing rules oversight panel was scheduled to vote on whether to make the proposal a rule for the upcoming season. The committee's decision means the oversight panel will not vote on the proposal.

The 10-second proposal would have prohibited snapping the ball until at least 10 seconds run off the 40-second play clock, allowing defenses to substitute. The only exceptions would be in the final two minutes of each half and if the play clock began at 25 seconds.

If the offense snapped the ball before the play clock is at less than 30 seconds, it would have been penalized five yards for delay of game. Under current rules, defenses aren't guaranteed an opportunity to substitute unless the offense subs first.

In a recent ESPN survey of all 128 FBS coaches, 73 percent (93 coaches) were opposed to the proposal and 19.5 percent (25 coaches) were in favor. Of the remaining 10 coaches, nine were undecided and one refused to participate.

The proposal had drawn a great deal of debate among coaches.

Arizona's Rich Rodriguez released a parody video Monday of the movie "Speed," mocking coaches in favor of the proposal. Alabama's Nick Saban used an unusual comparison in claiming that running more plays in a game puts players at a greater risk of injury.

"The fastball guys [up-tempo coaches] say there's no data out there, and I guess you have to use some logic," Saban told ESPN.com. "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.'"

The rules committee recommended the proposal three weeks ago. At the time, committee chairman Troy Calhoun, the coach at Air Force, said the proposal was "being made to enhance student-athlete safety by guaranteeing a small window for both teams to substitute."

Calhoun also said then that "it was time to act in the interests of protecting our student-athletes."

However, two weeks later, Calhoun did a 180. In a conference call with reporters, he said "it's only speculative" that more plays resulted in more injuries and, if there wasn't specific data, the proposal should not be a rule "because now it's not a safety concern."

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