A proposed NCAA rule to slow down up-tempo offenses would affect several teams in the ACC, including North Carolina, Duke, NC State and Clemson, and like many coaches throughout the country, they’re staunchly objecting to it.
The rule would prevent offenses from snapping the ball within the first 10 seconds after the 40-second play clock resets, allowing a defense to substitute even if the offense does not.
“I was embarrassed by the fact they tried to slide that in under player safety,” North Carolina coach Larry Fedora told ESPN.com on Wednesday. “I haven’t seen any evidence. Nobody has presented any evidence to show that slowing the game down is going to be healthier for our players. I just think it was a self-serving rule that some schools or coaches wanted in, and I don’t think it’s best for college football.”
A lack of evidence showing this rule is truly in the interests of player safety is the biggest question surrounding it right now. Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said he has spoken with coach Dabo Swinney about the proposed rule, and Swinney isn’t happy with it either.
“He and I spoke about that, and I said, ‘Dabo, there’s no physical evidence that says one thing is better than the other,'" Radakovich said on Wednesday. “I really think that since people are such data wonks they need to see that first before they make a change.”
The rule proposal will not go into effect unless passed March 6 by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which will discuss all of the committee's proposed changes. Coaches on either side of the discussion have until March 3 to comment or present any evidence that supports their safety claims.
Should it go into effect, Fedora said he hasn’t given a whole lot of thought as to how he would adjust the “Fed Spread,” which aims to average about 80 players per game.
“If the rule goes into place, there wouldn’t be much choice,” he said. “We’d have to adjust.”