Dec 31, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Auburn Tigers coach Gus Malzahn at a press conference for the 2014 BCS National Championship at ESPN Zone Downtown Disney. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Gus Malzahn: No evidence pace of play leads to injury


A proposed rule change that will inhibit teams who operate with a hurry-up, no huddle approach has drawn the ire of college football coaches across the country, including Auburn Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn who wants a year to debate the issue before a vote on the rule takes place.

According to USA Today’s James Crepea, the proposed rule would allow defensive players to substitute for 10 seconds before the offense can snap the ball, and asked for any vote on the issue to be moved to 2015, which is a rule-change year for college football, to allow for a “healthy debate” to occur.

The reason for proposing this rule has been player safety with Nick Saban and Bret Bielema two advocates for the rule that Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said is killing the creativity of the game and Arizona head coach Rich Ridriguez called ridiculous.

However, according to Malzahn there isn’t any evidence to suggest that teams who operate at a fast pace offensively are at a greater risk of injury.

“I want to say this first of all, I am first and most concerned about player’s safety and I’ve always been,” Malzahn said. “We play in a very violent game, but as far as this particular rule with no evidence I disagree. … I don’t think we need to lose sight of the fact that the only way you can change a rule is the health and safety of our players. And it’s got to be documented, and there’s got to be proof. And there’s not.”

In fact, the College Football Matrix writes that teams who run a fast-paced offense are actually subjected to fewer injuries than their slower counterparts.

In any event, the vote on this proposed rule is scheduled to take place on Mar. 6 at which point, the college football we have come to know and love over the past few years could be forced to pump the brakes.

Tags: Auburn Tigers Football Gus Malzahn