Bret Bielema and Nick Saban Hiding Behind Cowardly NCAA Bureaucracy

By Brandon Cavanaugh
NCAA headquarters
Joe Robbins-Getty Images

I’d honestly expect the recent rule proposal of neutering offenses until the play clock reads 29 seconds to come from Bret Bielema. Color me shocked to see Nick Saban tacking his name to it like the ultimate opportunist that he is. One’s been an above average coach at best, the other has been to the mountain top repeatedly and will be back. Regardless of who brought it up or co-signed, the proposal itself isn’t what gets under my skin.

It’s that this change is somehow supposed to protect players. Changing the game “in the interests of player safety” — it’s a fantastic strategy to hide behind. Oh yeah, my defensive linemen might get dehydrated going up against Oregon. Nevermind that Stanford seems to have no issue with the Ducks. My defensive backs have to run all over the place chasing Texas Tech‘s receivers! Let me break out the world’s smallest violin.

Let’s just call it what it is. If you put your signature on that rule change request, you’re being outcoached and need time to fix the problem. That in of itself isn’t so bad, but when you have the audacity to say you’re trying to do right by the players, you’ve officially become a coward.

Washington State head coach Mike Leach did an interview with WJOX in Birmingham, AL and had a three suggestions that he wouldn’t back, but found equally as absurd. No blitzing, a defense can never bring more players than an offense can block and the quarterback’s off limits.

I’ll give Bielema and Saban this much: they’re not stupid. Why should they be forced to adjust on the fly if the NCAA is too busy looking at something shiny while rubber stamping this idea?

Personally, I don’t think the proposal passes. It’s too transparent (never thought I’d say that about an NCAA proposal). The backlash is already building exponentially with each passing day. Remember that whole “every school gets to have their own recruiting department” thing? The approval rating is about the same.

Do me and the entire college football world a favor when you want to bring foolishness like this to the table next time, guys. Lie to me — and I mean make an effort. Sit down and concoct some asinine plot straight out of a James Bond movie that, while still dumb overall, makes an iota of sense.

Just stop with this “player safety” stuff. It insults everyone involved with it, especially the players.

Brandon Cavanaugh is a Big 10 writer for Follow him on Twitter @eightlaces, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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