Steve Spurrier against 'Saban Rule'
South Carolina's Steve Spurrier added his name to the list of coaches opposed to a rule proposal that would slow down college offenses, and he wasn't afraid to point fingers while criticizing it.
"So, you want to talk about the 'Saban Rule'?" Spurrier told USA Today on Thursday. "That's what I call it. Looks like it's dead now, hopefully."
During the rules committee meeting last week, Alabama coach Nick Saban debated a rule policy that would force offenses to wait 10 seconds to snap the ball. Saban, along with Arkansas coach Bret Bielema, cited safety as the reason behind the proposal, but he's also been a longtime opponent of hurry-up offenses.
"Should we allow football to be a continuous game? Is that the way the game was designed to play?" Saban asked during last summer's SEC media days.
The Playing Rules Oversight Panel will consider the slow-down proposal March 6.
But Spurrier, a rival of Saban and Bielema's in the SEC, has joined Auburn coach Gus Malzahn in advocating against the proposal. Spurrier told USA Today he left a voicemail for Air Force coach Troy Calhoun, chairman of the rules committee.
"I just told him I was against it," Spurrier told the newspaper. "It's ridiculous. Let's let everybody keep playing the way they've been playing."
Although Rogers Redding, the NCAA's coordinator of officiating and secretary-rules editor of the rules committee, says Saban's role in the proposal has been overstated, Spurrier doesn't believe that.
"He took it upon himself to go before the rules committee and get it done," Spurrier said of Saban. "They tried to change the rules. But I don't think they're gonna get away with it."
Georgia coach Mark Richt said defenses should have to adjust to evolving offenses.
"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," Richt told the Athens Banner-Herald.
Richt also said he doubted no-huddle offenses prevented a safety hazard. Calhoun said he has yet to see a medical study linking the rapid pace of an offense to potential health issues for defensive players.
Bielema said he's never seen a player safety proposal passed by the committee fail in front of the Playing Rules Oversight Panel.
"To me, that's part of football," Spurrier said. "The 'no-huddle' has always been available. I don't see why we'd take it away right now."