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Thursday, February 13, 2014
3-point stance: No uptempo evidence

By Ivan Maisel

1. The NCAA Football Rules Committee proposed a rule to cut defenses some slack against uptempo offenses. They are doing so under the guise of player safety, which is the argument that Nick Saban and others have been making all along. But if there is data illustrating a rise in injuries among defensive players because of uptempo offenses, I haven’t seen it. And anecdotally, it doesn’t ring true. Stanford plays several no-huddle teams every season, and the Cardinal have as low an injury rate as any FBS team.

2. The other rule proposal is a victory for common sense. The committee proposed that if a targeting violation is overturned by the automatic video review, then the 15-yard penalty that goes with it is overturned as well. There is some logic in the current rule – the hit may be a personal foul, just not targeting – but there was no accommodation made for plays where video absolved the tackler. The penalty still stood. There turned out to be no logic in that. I don’t foresee that proposal getting shot down.

3. January enrollees are seen as getting the jump on other recruits because they get in on winter conditioning and spring practice. But January enrollees don’t get to bond with other newbies the way that freshmen arriving in June do. They don’t get to ease their toe into the academic water by taking one or two summer classes. It takes a uniquely mature young man to handle the change, which might be another reason why the percentage of players who arrive in January remains small.