Originally posted on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 2/21/14

One of the most controversial proposed rule changes in college football this offseason is the one stating that offenses should be penalized for snapping the ball before 10 seconds have run off the play clock, as this is not enough time for defenses to run substitutions on the field. It is naturally being pushed by coaches such as Arkansas’ Bret Bielema and Alabama’s Nick Saban, who do not run hurry-up offenses and are looking to mitigate the effectiveness of opponents who do under the guise of “player safety.” Since it seems like a completely bogus/disingenuous argument, reporters naturally have questions whether there has been documented proof of players actually getting hurt as a result of hurry-up football. Bielema was asked that on Thursday. And came up with an answer that was tasteless even by Bret Bielema standards. Bielema was asked about evidence regarding injuries. His answer: “Death certificates,” referencing the death of a Cal football player. — Troy Schulte (@TroySchulteADG) February 21, 2014 Exsqueeze me? Baking powder? Did he really just blame a Cal player dying in an offseason conditioning session — not a game, not even a practice — on teams running hurry-up offenses? Yes, yes he did. Some context to that quote came to make it slightly less horrible came later on, but I still find it hard to believe safety is Bielema’s real motive in pushing the rule change.   To be clear,Bielema’s “death certificate” comment regarding Cal player was in reference to him reportedly testing pos. for sickle cell trait — Troy Schulte (@TroySchulteADG) February 21, 2014   If one of Bielema’s players has that trait — he has “half a dozen” — he wants time to be able to get that player out of the game. — Troy Schulte (@TroySchulteADG) February 21, 2014 So just in case we weren’t clear, having a guy who is in danger because he has been running around too much can be fixed by making sure he has a full 10 seconds to run off the field at full speed. Glad you’re on top of that case-study, Dr. Bielema. History will probably remember you as the next Jonas Salk with all the lives you’ll save.

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