Give and Take: Mike Leach rejects NCAA proposal

Editor’s note: The following is from Jacob Thorpe’s blog post on Friday.

Earlier this week WSU coach Mike Leach spoke to  ESPN’s Ted Miller about a proposed NCAA  rule change that would prevent the offense from snapping the ball during the play clock’s first 10 seconds to allow defenses an opportunity to substitute players.

On Thursday he joined Matt and Scott on WJOX 94.5-FM in Birmingham, Ala., to further explain why he would be, “prepared to debate anybody on the subject because it’s so ridiculous on its face.”

Leach has little patience for the proposed rule change, which he sees as a way for the college football establishment to punish offensive innovation.

“It’s one of the most mind-numbingly dumb suggestions that I’ve ever heard,” Leach said on the show. “And what makes this one even more reprehensible is that it’s so transparently self- serving.”

Leach made it clear that he does not believe the rule change will improve player safety and is skeptical that player safety is the proposal’s true intent. He added that other rule changes such as the “halo” and “targeting” rules have detracted from the game in his opinion.

“I think that the biggest problem here is that football has gotten very bureaucratic so the answer to nearly everything is to improve the game,” Leach said. “This one’s not about improving the game, this one’s about serving various teams that have an agenda. This one’s about sheer manipulation.”

Leach listed three other possible rule changes that, while doubtlessly making the sport safer for players, would not be popular among fans, players or coaches.

These were:

• Defenses aren’t allowed to blitz.

• Defenses are never allowed to rush more players than the offense has dedicated to blocking.

• Defenses are not allowed to hit the quarterback.

The coach added that innovation and creativity in the game need to be nourished, rather than stifled. To that end, he said that defense will adjust to hurry-up offenses if given a chance and that such offenses would in turn go out of style.

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