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UA’s Rodriguez: Proposed play clock rule would change fundamentals of game

LISTEN: Rich Rodriguez, UA Head Football Coach

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez has already voiced his opinion on a proposed college football rule in his video parody titled “Arizona Speed.”

His mocking of the proposed rule change, which penalizes teams for snapping the ball in the first 10 seconds of the play clock, hit the internet Monday and has over 100,000 views.

“I just reacted to this most ridiculous rule I’ve ever seen,” Rodriguez told the Doug & Wolf Show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

“You really got to look at it. Is it really the five or six more plays or is it the type of plays? To say it’s the pace of play that causes more injuries, there is no hard data whatsoever to say that, and that’s just coaches throwing out their own opinion like I’m throwing out mine.”

On Thursday the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel will vote on whether or not to approve the proposal that would go into effect next season if approved. The proposed change was reviewed one last time by an NCAA committee Wednesday.

The rule that penalizes speedy offenses has been made a player safety issue due to the increased number of plays run throughout the game. Rodriguez said the usual protocol for introducing a rule change was skewed and avoided polling coaches.

“What bothered me the most was that, normally for a rule to get to this point, it’s usually polled throughout the country and guys give their opinion, which they have done since then,” Rodriguez said.

“But this got pushed through by a player safety issue so coaches weren’t aware of it. So basically this 12-member rules committee said, ‘Oh yeah, let’s put this in there,’ and normally it’s rubber stamped. Hopefully with all this talk and outcry over it, the oversight rules committee is saying that there is no data supporting this.”

Rodriguez points out that changing the pace of the game would jeopardize the original foundations of football. The third-year coach for the Wildcats calls for more research to be done into how the speed of the game affects player injuries before Thursday’s vote.

“There have always been two fundamental things that the offense throughout the history of football has never changed — where you’re going and when you’re going,” Rodriguez said. “The defense has the fundamental rule that they can move all 11 guys. So are we going to change a fundamental rule because someone is theorizing that more plays lead to more injuries? I don’t think it should happen.

“I think tomorrow they will have better wisdom and the oversight panel will say, ‘Listen, let’s study this a little further before we throw in a rule that’s going to be a fundamental change and hard to manage, and let’s take a year or two to study that.'”