DeKALB – If college football’s 10-second proposal is approved Thursday, there could be some significant change to the game.
The proposal calls for offenses to be required to wait 10 seconds to snap the ball to allow defensive substitutions, with the exception being in the last two minutes of each half.
If the offense were to snap the ball to early, it would receive a 5-yard delay-of-game penalty.
The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel will vote on the matter Thursday. If passed, it would take effect this fall.
Coaches around the country have voiced their displeasure. Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez tweeted Feb. 12: “When you snap the ball has always been a fundamental edge for the offense – what’s next – 3 downs like Canada?”
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy sent out this tweet: “The 10-second rule is like asking basketball to take away the shot clock - Boring! It’s like asking a blitzing linebacker to raise his hand”
Add Northern Illinois’ Rod Carey to the list of coaches who isn’t a fan of the new proposal.
“If you’re down by 21 points in the middle of the third quarter, you’re going to see a boring football game,” Carey said last week. “Offenses aren’t going to have the ability to go into two-minute offense and try to get back in the game. You’re going to limit possessions by saying they can’t snap it when you want to snap it.”
Rule change proposals come through every other year, and this is an off year. However, proposals can be made if they concern player safety, which is the supposed reasoning behind the 10-second rule. Alabama coach Nick Saban and Arkansas’ Bret Bielema, both of whom run pro-style offenses, are believed to be two main proponents behind this rule.
Carey said he has yet to see any evidence that links spread offenses to higher injury numbers. He said to his knowledge, rule changes usually are brought up at the American Football Coaches Association convention, which took place in Indianapolis in January, and voted on by the coaches before being pushed to the rules committee, which then recommends them to the NCAA.
Carey said with this, that wasn’t the case, though he recently did receive a survey on the issue. USA Today recently reported that the 10-second rule will be reconsidered this week by the NCAA Football Rules Committee, which could choose to modify or withdrawl the proposal.
“That’s a problem that I have is how do we get to that point where it has to be in response to this rule? When [coaches are] usually supposed to get proactive about rules,” Carey said. “That’s my issue that I’ve had, because I’ve said that all along, if someone can show me data that us taking more snaps leads to more injuries, like imperial data, yeah, player safety is all of us, we’re all on board with that.
“There isn’t a coach on country that wouldn’t be on board with that. I’d be leading the charge, but there is no data.”