Arkansas coach Brett Bielema expects slow-down rule to pass - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Arkansas coach Brett Bielema expects slow-down rule to pass

Posted: Updated:
Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema made an impassioned case in favor of the much-scrutinized proposal to slow down college offenses on Thursday night.(AP Photo/Danny Johnston) Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema made an impassioned case in favor of the much-scrutinized proposal to slow down college offenses on Thursday night.(AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

SEARCY, Ark. (AP) — Bret Bielema made an impassioned case in favor of the much-scrutinized proposal to slow down college offenses on Thursday night.

And the Arkansas coach isn't about to back down, despite a host of criticism from up-tempo, no-huddle coaches across the country.

Bielema, speaking to the media before a meeting of the White County Razorback Club, said he expects the proposal to prohibit snapping the ball until at least 10 seconds run off the 40-second play clock to pass when the NCAA playing rules oversight panel votes on March 6.

He also reiterated his stance that the proposal is safety-based — saying he wants to be proactive and make a change before a fatal injury.

The former Wisconsin coach pointed to the recent death of California football player Ted Agu during a training run, saying the inability to substitute an injured player between plays could lead to injury or death.

"If one of those players is on the field for me, and I have no timeouts, I have no way to stop the game," Bielema said. "And he raises his hand to stop the game, and I can't do it. What am I supposed to do?

"What are we supposed to do when we have a player who tells us he's injured?"

A host of up-tempo, no-huddle coaches, including Auburn's Gus Malzahn, have come out publicly against the proposed rule, which was passed during a meeting of the NCAA Football Rules Committee last week.

 

 Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn.(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Even committee chairman and Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said he has yet to see a medical study linking the rapid pace of an offensive to potential health issues for defensive players.

Bielema, who was at the meeting in Indianapolis last week as a representative of the American Football Coaches Association, countered Calhoun's assertion by saying more plays lead to more opportunities for injuries such as concussions.

He also offered a direct counter to the claim there's no hard evidence of increased risk of injury.

"Death certificates," Bielema said. "There's no more anything I need than that."

Bielema highlighted the recent surge in talk of player safety, mentioning President Barack Obama's claim that he wouldn't let his son play football, as a reason to take the issue seriously.

"You have someone pass in the game of football on live TV, (and) see how that affects youth football," Bielema said.

He also said the committee discussed 15-, 12- and 10-second possibilities for the proposal, adding that he backed the 10-second version — which he felt would "absolutely" be enough time to substitute

Both Bielema and Alabama coach Nick Saban were at the original committee meeting, with Saban voicing his concerns about the up-tempo offenses. Saban and Bielema run methodical offenses and have publicly questioned if the quickening pace of offenses is good for the game.

 
 Alabama head coach Nick Saban. (abc3340.com)

Bielema said Thursday that he hadn't spoken to Saban or any other coaches before the committee meeting. He said the proposal was first discussed at the same meeting a year earlier, and that it was brought back up during a meeting of the AFCA in January.

Malzahn, Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze, Arizona's Rich Rodriguez and Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy are just a few of the critics of the proposal. All run versions of up-tempo offenses.

"The 10-second rule is like asking basketball to take away the shot clock - Boring!" Gundy tweeted last week. "It's like asking a blitzing linebacker to raise his hand."

Bielema rejected the notion that the proposal has turned into a philosophical battle between old-school and new-school coaches.

"I'm not talking about injuries," Bielema said. "I'm talking about death. That concerns me. That's a very serious matter to me, and I think if we talk to any coach in the country that's going to talk against that, I would doubt very much that they would do it openly.

"I understand the resistance, I understand the pushback. It's not a philosophy with me; it's a matter of safety, life and death."

He mentioned that a half a dozen players with the Razorbacks have been diagnosed with sickle cell trait, and that the team's trainers must constantly watch the players for signs of dehydration or exhaustion.

"I think it's still safety battle," Bielema said. "... I know every one of those coaches probably has a player in that same scenario, but it hasn't happened.

"It's kind of like, do we have to have this happen before we talk about it?"

Malzahn said this week he'd like the proposal to be tabled for a year, to allow for more time to discuss its impact.

Bielema, who was a voting member for two years on the rules committee before this year, said he's never seen a player safety proposal passed by the committee fail in front of the Playing Rules Oversight Commission.

"Anything that's ever been player-safety driven has never, in my history there, has never been stopped," Bielema said.

____

AP Sports Writers Ralph Russo, John Zenor and Eric Olson contributed to this report.

  • Auburn University SportsMore>>

  • Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Auburn QB Nick Marshall pays $1,100 in fines for marijuana possession, window tint violations in Georgia

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:33:03 GMT
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.More >>
    Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall has paid the fines for possession of a small amount of marijuana and a window tint violation.
    More >>
  • CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    CB Chris Westry commits to Auburn

    Thursday, July 24 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-07-24 18:22:20 GMT
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.More >>
    Auburn added some size to the future of it's defensive backfield.Cornerback Chris Westry of Oakleaf High School in Florida committed to be part of the Tigers recruiting class of 2015. The 6-foot-4, 180 pound Westry is a three-star prospect according to 247Sports.Oakleaf High School announced the commitment on it's twitter page,2015 DB Chris Westry has committed to Auburn #WarEagle --Oakleaf Football ?, July 24 Westry is the 18th commitment for Auburn's 2015 signing class.More >>
  • Josh Donaldson nominated for MLB Heart and Hustle Award

    Josh Donaldson nominated for MLB Heart and Hustle Award

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:37:43 GMT
    Josh Donaldson earned the Oakland A's Heart and Hustle Award. It's the second consecutive season Donaldson was chosen for the honor.More >>
    Josh Donaldson earned the Oakland A's Heart and Hustle Award. It's the second consecutive season Donaldson was chosen for the honor.More >>
  • All other Local CollegesMore>>

  • Samford picked to finish third in Southern Conference

    Samford picked to finish third in Southern Conference

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:38 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:38:39 GMT
    Coming off it's first trip to the FCS Playoffs, Samford was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference, the highest the program has even been picked in the preseason since it joined the league in 2008.More >>
    Coming off it's first trip to the FCS Playoffs, Samford was picked to finish third in the Southern Conference, the highest the program has even been picked in the preseason since it joined the league in 2008.More >>
  • Alabama State, Southern favorites in SWAC

    Alabama State, Southern favorites in SWAC

    Friday, July 18 2014 5:11 PM EDT2014-07-18 21:11:55 GMT
    Defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Southern and Alabama State are the favorites to win their divisions.More >>
    Defending Southwestern Athletic Conference champion Southern and Alabama State are the favorites to win their divisions.
    More >>
  • JSU football picked by media to win OVC championship

    JSU football picked by media to win OVC championship

    Friday, July 18 2014 4:08 PM EDT2014-07-18 20:08:13 GMT
    Jacksonville State is picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship by media covering the league.More >>
    Jacksonville State is picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference championship by media covering the league.
    More >>
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Social media helps Homewood bakery find missing truck in under an hour

    Social media helps Homewood bakery find missing truck in under an hour

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:33 PM EDT2014-07-28 02:33:35 GMT
    A Homewood bakery got its missing truck back less than one hour after asking for help on social media. Two people saw the plea for help on social media and spotted it on their way home from a Barons game.More >>
    A Homewood bakery got its missing truck back less than one hour after asking for help on social media. Two people saw the plea for help on social media and spotted it on their way home from a Barons game.More >>
  • Nationwide manhunt for Ozark man accused of kidnapping, sexual assault

    Nationwide manhunt for Ozark man accused of kidnapping, sexual assault

    Sunday, July 27 2014 10:00 PM EDT2014-07-28 02:00:39 GMT
    David PittsDavid Pitts
    A 30 year old woman and 8 year old child are receiving medical treatment after they were kidnapped and sexually assaulted. A nationwide manhunt is now underway for the suspect.More >>
    A 30 year old woman and 8 year old child are receiving medical treatment after they were kidnapped and sexually assaulted. A nationwide manhunt is now underway for the suspect.More >>
  • Attorney "getting conflicting stories about absentee ballots" in contested JeffCo race

    Attorney "getting conflicting stories about absentee ballots" in contested JeffCo race

    Sunday, July 27 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-07-27 23:08:43 GMT
    Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown is expected to address the challenge to the District Two election results Monday. The contest was filed by one of her opponent's supporters. ABC 33/40 spoke with the attorney representing that supporter.More >>
    Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown is expected to address the challenge to the District Two election results Monday. The contest was filed by one of her opponent's supporters. ABC 33/40 spoke with the attorney representing that supporter.More >>
  • Woman doused with gasoline and burned by ex-boyfriend

    Woman doused with gasoline and burned by ex-boyfriend

    Sunday, July 27 2014 5:04 PM EDT2014-07-27 21:04:38 GMT
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's department is looking for 48 year old Michael Kennedy. He's wanted on several charges after allegedly setting his ex-girlfriend on fire. Just after 2:30 this morning deputies respond to a report of a house fire in the 4400 block of Nellie Anderson Street. They arrived to find a 49 year old female victim with extensive burns to her head, arms, upper body and legs. She was transported to the hospital and admitted to a burn unit in serious condition. Investigators...More >>
    The Jefferson County Sheriff's department is looking for 48 year old Michael Kennedy. He's wanted on several charges after allegedly setting his ex-girlfriend on fire. Just after 2:30 this morning deputies respond to a report of a house fire in the 4400 block of Nellie Anderson Street. They arrived to find a 49 year old female victim with extensive burns to her head, arms, upper body and legs. She was transported to the hospital and admitted to a burn unit in serious condition. Investigators...More >>
  • A triple shooting leaves one person dead

    A triple shooting leaves one person dead

    Sunday, July 27 2014 11:51 AM EDT2014-07-27 15:51:55 GMT
    One person is dead and two others in juried in an early morning shooting in Ensley. Birmingham Police report incident occurred in the 1600 Block of Avenue I. Around 2:30 a.m. police were called to the location and found the victim lying face down in the street suffering from a gunshot wound to the back. Birmingham Fire and Rescue also responded to the scene and pronounced the victim deceased at the scene. The name of the victim has not yet been released pending notification of relatives. Ther...More >>
    One person is dead and two others in juried in an early morning shooting in Ensley. Birmingham Police report incident occurred in the 1600 Block of Avenue I. Around 2:30 a.m. police were called to the location and found the victim lying face down in the street suffering from a gunshot wound to the back. Birmingham Fire and Rescue also responded to the scene and pronounced the victim deceased at the scene. The name of the victim has not yet been released pending notification of relatives. Ther...More >>
  • Judge Rules Benz Plant Violated Labor Laws

    Judge Rules Benz Plant Violated Labor Laws

    Saturday, July 26 2014 11:29 PM EDT2014-07-27 03:29:07 GMT
    A judge has ruled Mercedes-Benz U.S. International violated labor laws while dealing with employees interested in forming a labor union.An administrative law judge for the National Labor Relations Board ordered MBUSI to revise rules in its employee handbook governing the solicitation and distribution of materials at its auto manufacturing plant in Vance.The United Auto Workers accused Mercedes managers of stymieing pro-union employees' efforts to distribute information about the union.Mercede...More >>
    A judge has ruled Mercedes-Benz U.S. International violated labor laws while dealing with employees interested in forming a labor union.An administrative law judge for the National Labor Relations Board ordered MBUSI to revise rules in its employee handbook governing the solicitation and distribution of materials at its auto manufacturing plant in Vance.The United Auto Workers accused Mercedes managers of stymieing pro-union employees' efforts to distribute information about the union.Mercede...More >>
  • Glen Allen man killed in accident involving logging truck

    Glen Allen man killed in accident involving logging truck

    Saturday, July 26 2014 6:17 PM EDT2014-07-26 22:17:25 GMT
    Alabama State Troopers say a 63 year old man from Glen Allen was killed in a two vehicle crash in Fayette County. It happened Friday night on County Road 73.More >>
    Alabama State Troopers say a 63 year old man from Glen Allen was killed in a two vehicle crash in Fayette County. It happened Friday night on County Road 73.More >>
  • Shooting victim's wife and sons want answers concerning homicide investigation

    Shooting victim's wife and sons want answers concerning homicide investigation

    Saturday, July 26 2014 6:11 PM EDT2014-07-26 22:11:45 GMT
    Family members grieve the loss of a 37-year-old man shot dead. Birmingham police are investigating. A family is asking questions as police hear conflicting stories.More >>
    Family members grieve the loss of a 37-year-old man shot dead. Birmingham police are investigating. A family is asking questions as police hear conflicting stories.
    More >>