The NCAA football rules committee made one no-brainer change at its annual meeting in Indianapolis and another that created a firestorm Wednesday.
First, the committee made an alteration to its targeting penalty, eliminating the mandatory 15-yard walk-off when replays determine that no foul should have been called. Many believe this was a common sense adjustment.
Then, the rules committee also suggested that defenses be allowed to make personnel changes within the first 10 seconds of the play clock. If a hurry-up, quick-paced offense snaps the ball with more than 29 seconds remaining on the play clock, they would be charged with a delay-of-game penalty.
A delay-of-game penalty for going too fast?
“This rules change is being made to enhance student-athlete safety by guaranteeing a small window for both teams to substitute,” said committee chairman Troy Calhoun, the head coach at Air Force.
The proposed rule change must be approved by the NCAA playing rules oversight panel, which meets March 6. But that didn’t stop coaches — mostly those who run hurry-up, quick-paced offenses — from going crazy.
Baylor coach Art Briles told the American-Statesman he’d like to see the play clock reduced to 35 seconds instead of 40.
Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal: “I will be very disappointed if that rule is passed. It makes absolutely no sense.”
“First off, (I) doubt it will pass,” Washington State coach Mike Leach told ESPN. “Second, it’s ridiculous. All this tinkering is ridiculous. I think it deteriorates the game. It’s always been a game of creativity and strategy.
“So anytime someone doesn’t want to go back to the drawing board or re-work their solutions to problems,” Leach added, “then what they do is to beg for a rule. I think it’s disgusting.”
Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez took to his official Twitter account.
“None of the coaches I’ve talked to knew about the rule proposal regarding waiting ten seconds to snap the ball — wondering #HiddenAgenda?,” Rodriguez tweeted.
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