Football coaches not fans of NCAA’s unofficial ‘mercy’ rule

Sep 21, 2013; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Kyle Flood congratulating players after a third quarter touchdown against the Arkansas Razorbacks at High Points Solutions Stadium. Rutgers won 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Jim O’Connor, USA Today Sports

Two football games from this past weekend — Louisville’s 72-0 drubbing of Florida International and Miami’s 77-7 win over Savannah State — were shortened due to the lopsided natures of their scores. In the case of the Louisville game, the decision was made to keep the clock continuously running, while Miami and Savannah State decided to shorten the final quarter by a few minutes. Knowing how to handle blowouts isn’t easy for coaches on the winning team — you don’t want to be known as someone who runs up the score against inferior competition — but a few coaches spoke out today regarding their disdain for the so-called “mercy rule.”

Here’s what Texas Tech’s head coach Kliff Kingsbury had to say, courtesy of USA Today Sports:

I would be opposed to it simply because I think our backups and the guys of that nature deserve to play and play as much as they can, because they work just as hard as the starters. I’d be all for getting them as many reps and as much time on that game field as possible.

Kyle Flood, the head coach of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, shared a similar sentiment:

I think when you’re fortunate to be in a game and you have a lead that you feel the other team can’t recover form, the next thing you can do that is productive for your football team is to develop your younger players. It’s still game experience against an unknown opponent. When you get your chances, you want to take advantage of it.

Allowing younger players to gain experience is certainly valuable, and it’s a difficult line of reasoning to argue with. Still, one has to feel a bit of sympathy for the losers getting blown out by seventy or more points (though the fat paychecks the schools receive must help lessen some of the sting). Thankfully, with conference play about to commence around the nation, us fans hopefully won’t have to deal with too many more boring blowouts this season. (Well, unless your favorite team is playing Baylor or Oregon. Then it may be unavoidable.)

[Source: USA Today Sports]

Topics: Kliff Kingsbury, Kyle Flood

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