The 10-Second Rule: Will It Make Football Safer?
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The 10-Second Rule: Will It Make Football Safer?

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This article was written by Will Matthews. He is a senior Kappa Sigma majoring in Political Science. You may contact him at wjm000@auburn.edu.

For most college football fans, we have all become aware of this newly proposed 10-second rule that the NCAA Football Rules Committee is currently reviewing. For those who haven’t heard about it, this new rule says that a team would be penalized for snapping the ball before ten seconds have elapsed on the play clock. Obviously for Auburn fans, this is extremely concerning because the rule would take away what we all love about Gus Malzahn’s offense. We would cease to have the fast-paced, no huddle offense that has been so successful for us along with many other Division 1 programs. Originally this rule was supposed to enhance player safety, according to some of the NCAA officials that are currently deliberating over adding the ten-second rule to the game. The problem with the rule is that the NCAA has still failed to prove whether this proposed rule will actually make the game safer. Others may say that this rule is necessary for defensive players to get on and off the field for substitutions. Regardless it appears that coaches that can’t handle the hurry up offense are pushing this along. For example, there is one coach in particular from that school in Tuscaloosa that has been fighting for this rule to be seriously considered.  In a recent interview with AL.com, Nick Saban explained his reasoning, “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.”  This just sounds like a cop out because teams can work harder to stop the hurry-up offense; it isn’t a foolproof system. 
An ESPN report shows that only 25 of 128 FBS coaches are in favor of passing the rule. On top of that only two coaches in the SEC, Arkansas’ Brett Bielema along with Saban are in favor of adding the rule to the game. So the real question is, why is the rule even being put up to a vote? Under a fifth of the FBS coaches want the rule, which is hardly a majority. If a coach like Chip Kelly was successful in transitioning his offense from the FBS to the NFL, then why should they change a facet of the game that has become more prevalent in all levels of football?
There is no right answer to whether this rule should be passed, but without convincing numbers showing that sped up play makes the game more dangerous, this shouldn’t even be an argument. There have already been many changes in the game such as the targeting rule, and if the NCAA continues to restrict the players on the field, college football fans will be left watching a game they don’t recognize.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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