The NCAA’s rules committee tabled the controversial 10-second rule proposal that would have slowed down college football offenses, ESPN.com reported Wednesday.
The committee’s decision means the 11-member Playing Rules Oversight Panel will not vote on the proposal Thursday. Thus, the proposed rule will not be enacted for the 2014 season,
The 10-second rule proposal would have prohibited snapping the ball until at least 10 seconds had run off the 40-second play, allowing defenses to substitute. The only exception in the proposal would be in the final two minutes of each half or if the play clock began at 25 seconds.
Under current rules, defenses aren’t guaranteed an opportunity to substitute unless the offense subs first.
This rule was introduced with player safety in mind, yet there was no data to support that it did anything to make players any safer.
A recent ESPN poll indicated that most coaches do not support the proposed rule. One of them, South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, has referred to it as “The Saban Rule.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban last week addressed the proposal and denied having anything to do with the proposal.
“I really don’t necessarily have an opinion on the 10-second rule,” Saban said. “I think there are three issues that need to be researched relative to pace of play, the first being player safety. When you look at plays that are run, and a team averages 88 plays, and we average 65 at Alabama, that’s 20-something plays more a game over a 12-game season, that adds up to four more games a year that guys have to play. I think it’s wear and tear and tougher to prepare players when you have to play against a hurry-up offense because of the way you have to practice.
“The second thing is, can officials officiate the game? They’re not in position when the ball is snapped, just like defensive players aren’t in position when the ball is snapped, so that’s a game administration issue that people should probably look into.
“And the third thing, to me, and the last thing, which is not the most important, I think the first is most important, is there any competitive imbalance created by the pace of play.”
The NCAA’s 11-member playing rules oversight panel only needed a simple majority had they voted on the proposal.
The panel consists of Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher, WAC commissioner Jeff Hurd, Northeast Conference commissioner Noreen Morris, UAB senior associate athletic director Derita Ratcliffe, Michigan State senior associate athletic director Shelley Appelbaum, Armstrong Atlantic State athletic director Lisa Sweany, Arkansas Tech assistant athletic director Kristy Bayer, Shenandoah’s Doug Zipp, Smith’s Lynn Oberbillig and Fitchburg State’s Sue Lauder.