Butch Jones The Latest To Bash 'Saban Rule'
By Dan Harralson
If you thought there was down time between national signing day and the beginning of spring practice, think again.
The 'Saban Rule,' as South Carolina dubbed the proposal to force offenses to wait to snap the ball at least 10 seconds into the play clock, has caught the sport by surprise.
With many coaches sounding off on the rule in displeasure, it was Butch Jones' turn Friday.
“I think it’s the equivalent of telling a basketball team you can’t full-court press,” Jones said, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. “If we want to talk about the overall health, then let’s start limiting blitzes. You talk about protecting players (and) you give the defense more time to disguise, disrupt the quarterback?”
Jones, the second-year UT head coach, touched on the 'Saban Rule' on Nashville's 104.5 The Zone.
“I don’t think it comes down to our overall health of our game. I think it comes down to each coach’s personal preference,” he said. “Everything we do is to err on the side of player safety. We need to talk about the punt return and the kickoff return and the kickoff, not how fast we’re going on offense. So obviously I’m not for that (rule change)."
The proposed rule by the NCAA Football Rules Committee will be voted upon March 6, if the proposal even reaches to that point. With the amount of displeasure coming from college coaches and the lack of evidence to support player safety as an underlining ideal to change the game, the proposal may not even come to a vote.
Many coaches feel waiting 10 seconds to snap the ball is not the answer, especially after the NCAA has created a 12th regular season game and a four-team playoff.
“I really look forward to really seeing what type of evidence there is in terms of making the game safer. I’m all for (making the game safer). But I don’t think that’s the avenue to do that,” Jones said to the radio station.
The committee said research shows even hurry-up, no-huddle offenses rarely snap the ball within 10 seconds after the play clock begins, which to some underlines the validity of the proposal request.
Until March 6, expect coaches to continue to sound off in the media about the rule.