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Copyright 2014 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Staff and wire services

According to an anonymous survey conducted by ESPN, only 25 of the country's 128 head coaches at the FBS level are in favor of the rule proposal that would slow down college football.

Of those 25, just 11 are coaches in the major conferences (SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12), plus Notre Dame. Ninety-three coaches indicated they were opposed to the rule, nine were undecided and one refused to participate.

The proposal, if passed, would prohibit teams from snapping the ball until at least 10 seconds had expired from the 40-second play clock, which would allow defenses time to substitute. The exceptions would be in the final two minutes of each half or if the play clock began at 25 seconds. If the ball is snapped too soon, the offense would be penalized 5 yards for delay of game. Under the current rules, defenses aren't guaranteed a chance to substitute unless the offense also subs.

Alabama coach Nick Saban spoke to the rules committee in favor of the proposal.

Among those who previously indicated publicly they were against it are Georgia's Mark Richt, South Carolina's Steve Spurrier, Auburn's Gus Malzahn, Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin, Florida's Will Muschamp, Ole Miss' Hugh Freeze and Louisville's Bobby Petrino.

Richt said last week, "I feel like if you can train offensive players to play five or six plays in a row, you can train defensive players to play that many plays in a row, too. I personally don't think it's a health-issue deal, but if there's some evidence otherwise, it will be interesting to see it."

The NCAA's 11-member playing rules oversight panel will vote March 6. A simple majority is needed for it to become a rule next season.


February 27, 2014




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