This is normally the time of year when Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez has a chance to catch his breath. Maybe nine holes on the golf course in the afternoon, a little family bonding in the early evening and some alone time in the weight room with his headphones. That plan was spoiled on Wednesday. The NCAA Football Rules Committee recommended a rule change that struck too close to home for a coach who preaches an up-tempo style in everything his football team does. The new rule, which still has to be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on March 6, would give defenses 10 seconds to substitute on every play. Offenses would not be able to snap the ball until 29 seconds remained on the play clock. The only exception would be the final two minutes of each half. Currently, defenses can only substitute when offenses do first, and the offense can snap the ball at any point. The coaches on the committee, who include Air Force’s Troy Calhoun, Alabama’s Nick Saban and Arkansas’ Brett Bielema, among others, say the rule would help prevent injuries and keep players safe. But no data was given to support the claim. Worse, the rule change was proposed with many coaches — including Rodriguez — knowing nothing about it. “I didn’t know anything about it until someone from ESPN called and asked me what my reaction to the new rule was,” Rodriguez told the Star this week. “I immediately looked it up. That’s what is so crazy. We just got back-doored with this rule and there was no discussion at all amongst coaches.
Proposed football rule has RichRod seeing red
Arizona Daily Star | Feb 19