Rich Rodriguez: ‘A Few Are Whining Loudly About The Rule Change’
If you haven’t seen it, go watch it.
Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez – along with various members of his staff – created a video poking fun at the proposed rule change that would prohibit offenses from snapping the ball within the first 10 seconds of the play clock. The video involves clips from the movie Speed, including an exchange between Rodriguez and Sandra Bullock, who stars as a University of Arizona graduate who must drive a bus that will explode if it goes below 50 miles per hour.
“Our little acting foray, it only took about an hour to do,” Rodriguez said on The MoJo Show, laughing. “Our video guys put something together, and the next thing you know, a lot of people are talking about it. We just had a little fun with it. We don’t take ourselves too seriously.
“But we’re so passionate about this silly rule change that they’re trying to get out there that we (thought), ‘What the heck? We’ll give it one more shot and have some fun with it and make some fun of ourselves and see what happens.”
Rodriguez has employed an up-tempo spread attack at several schools, including West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona, which he has led to back-to-back 8-5 seasons.
The proposed rule change has been backed by Alabama’s Nick Saban and Arkansas’ Bret Bielema, among others. Saban has won four national titles. Bielema has coached in three Rose Bowls.
Why so much whining?
“I don’t know if there’s as much whining as it is just the few that are doing it are whining loudly,” Rodriguez said.
Saban and Bielema claim their support for the rule has nothing to do with scheme or personal agenda; rather, it’s an issue of player safety.
“Come on, give me a break,” Rodriguez said. “Show me some evidence that says it’s a player-safety issue. I think it’s crazy. There’s nobody that’s more concerned with player safety than myself and my staff, and we’ve been doing it for 20 years. If we thought it was an issue, we would’ve quit doing it. We just figure it’s just the opposite; it forces your kids to get in shape. It’s never been an issue at all.
“I think it’s more public now,” Rodriguez continued. “I think instead of trying to adapt to the scheme, they (just want to try to change the rule). I don’t blame them for trying. (But) how it got this far is kind of amazing.”
Rodriguez would prefer that coaches try to out-scheme the spread rather than having a rules committee do it for them.
“Players and coaches adapt,” he said. “Whatever the flavor of the day is, the schemes evolve and people adapt. Thirty years ago, wide receivers were in a three-point stance. Everybody huddled up. There weren’t corner blitzes and different schemes defensively. There were three or four different coverages; now there’s all kinds of things.
“Players and coaches adapt, and they’ll adapt to the rules. But you don’t change a fundamental rule (of football) and disguise it as player safety when you know that’s not your agenda.”