Did Arkansas coach Bret Bielema know just how much opposition he would have when he championed the 10-second defensive substitution proposal?
Heck, the proposal even reached parody video status from Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez.
Where did that opposition come from? Well, if you listen to Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze, it was part of a structured nationwide attack. Seriously.
“(Auburn coach Gus Malzahn) and I were talking (Tuesday); it’s actually taken our time,” Freeze told the Clarion-Ledger. “It’s our livelihood. We care about what happens with our sport. Our sport’s at one of the highest peaks of interest from the public opinion that it’s ever been. People are enjoying the games. We’ve kind of structured a nationwide attack of how we’ll go about voices heard before this is final. From our conference, (Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin), Gus, myself and (Tennessee coach Butch Jones) have led the way the most and (South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier). We divided up names that we were going to call that we felt like had an interest in this. It’s kind of been nationwide. It has taken time. We’ve tried to find if there was any documentation out there. We have routinely had a group of us calling the rules committee pretty regularly to continue to stress our opinion of where this is headed.”
Yeah, Bielema probably didn't know his coaching brethren were going to do that. Especially his fellow SEC coaches. The actions of the coaches mentioned above is a big reason why 20 percent of college coaches support the rule proposal to prevent offenses from snapping the ball with more than 29 seconds on the play clock to ensure that defenses would have 10 seconds to substitute players before each play. Bielema's outspokenness on the issue -- using the term "death certificates" when discussing his support for the proposal - has made this the most divisive issue of the offseason. And as we've said previously, one that's not likely to make it through the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel as a rule for 2014 on Thursday. No evidence has been cited in support of the proposal, and it's obvious that the overwhelming popular opinion in college football is against the rule.
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