Committee withdraws rule change proposal

Update 2:04 p.m.

The NCAA’s football rules committee has withdrawn its proposal of a rules change that would limit tempo offenses.

This from USA Today.

The proposal will not be forward to the oversight panel which was scheduled to consider it tomorrow. Had the oversight panel signed off on the proposal, it would have become a rule in 2014.

The controversial rule proposal that would limit “tempo” offenses is scheduled to go before the Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Thursday.

It’s possible the proposal could be withdrawn in a conference call today.

A couple of good reads here:

USA Today

Here’s what Hugh Freeze had to say on the topic at his pre-spring presser yesterday:

“There’s a very important conference call tomorrow that the rules committee is maybe being instructed to reconvene and be sure their thoughts are all the same after the feedback has been received. I’ve been very clear. We’re very frustrated with the process that was used to get to this point without our voices being heard from our side of the issue. Maybe we’ve gotten that across. We’ll see how, if they continue after their meeting tomorrow that they get together and decide that it will move forward.

“I hope and pray that the prop committee sees that there’s no adequate evidence under the umbrella of player safety to push that rule through in a non-rule change year. I know we’ve made our voice heard. You guys have seen nation-wide how it’s viewed and how people perceive it. There are a lot of issues with it. What do you tell a basketball coach that may not get a sub for four minutes, or a soccer coach … all sports have issues. We all know we coach a dangerous sport. I don’t know any coach that doesn’t want his kids to be safe, but I’ve got a trainer here that has been in the NFL 18 years. He believes he can prove that it may be the exact opposite.

“I’m not saying I have all the answers. I’m obviously partial and biased, but I do not believe there is any evidence to push this rule through.”

Take a look at how the SEC coaches who oppose the propose rules change have worked together:

“Gus and I were talking today. It’s taken our time and our minds. It’s our livelihood, and we care about what happens to our sport. I think our sport’s at one of the highest peaks of interest that it’s ever been. I think people are enjoying the games. We’ve kind of had almost, I guess you could say structured a “nation wide attack” of how we are going to go about making sure the voices from the other side of the issue are at least somewhat heard before this is final.

“Coach (Kevin) Sumlin, myself, Gus (Malzahn ) and coach (Butch) Jones have let the way the most. Coach (Steve) Spurrier. We kind of divided up names we would call that we felt like would have an interest in this cause. It’s kind of been nation-wide to do. It has taken time. We’ve tried to find, is there any documentation out there? We’ve yet to see any. We’ve routinely had a group of us calling the rules committee pretty regularly to continue to stress our opinion of where this is headed.”

Freeze is especially bothered with how the process has been handled.

I have not dropped basketball and now baseball and made this proposed rule change my focus for the last few weeks. So, I’ve not spoken directly with Nick Saban, Bret Bielema or others who favor the change.

Listening to what Freeze describes below and comments from other coaches that I’ve read, whether intentional or not, the process appears to have been mishandled from an information standpoint.

“I have great respect for anyone who takes on the role of being on any of the committees that are designed to help our sport. I certainly want to be careful to say I know it takes their time and that everyone in there did what they felt was right at that time. There’s no question the process to get to this point was lacking the voices from the other side of the issue. There just was no one in that room … and just three weeks previously we had a head coaches meeting, and this issue was never brought up. They would say we had a chance on some survey back in the season that I never saw. That’s my fault. I confess that, but an issue this big doesn’t need to be handled through some survey that comes through the email in the middle of the season. You should have a chance to have your voice heard. The process for a rule that would change the way we play this game should be vetted through a lot of dialogue on both sides, then come to some decision. The process was a bit surprising.”

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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  • Colonel_Panic

    Thank the good Lord that this was shot down. It’s ridiculous that this was even considered a possibility. The fact that some coaches argued that this is for player safety goes to show that most of these coaches are simply there to win and make money no matter how many torn ACLs and concussions they have to go through. In fact, it can be argued that up tempo offenses cause less injuries because the players in these offenses are smaller. Up tempo is less about knocking heads and more about finding the right hole in the line or coverage. These coaches would rather win than allow for a play calling system to be in place that could possibly alleviate some of the wear and tear on players bodies. Will players be more winded and tired during games? Yes. Will players be forced to butt heads with 350lb linemen every play? No. You tell me which is more dangerous.

  • Karl Hungus

    The NCAA will change the downfield blocking rule. This will in effect remove the advantage that offenses like Ole Miss uses, where they are run blocking down field in a passing scheme.

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