Bret Bielema: Must slow games down

ByAlex Scarborough ESPN logo
Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Arkansas Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema isn't giving up his fight to change the rules regarding the pace of play in college football, with the hurry-up, no-huddle offense continuing to be his primary target.

As Bielema told Sporting News' Matt Hayes, "We have to protect student-athletes to extremes we never thought of before."

Bielema spoke to Sporting News about recently retired San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland, a former player of his at Wisconsin who said he left the NFL at 24 years old because of concerns over the effects of head trauma.

Citing a study Bielema said showed that "players in the no-huddle, hurry-up offense play the equivalent of five more games than those that don't," he once again asked for awareness about the pace of play. Framing the argument as a safety issue, he believes that the more plays that are run, the greater the chance of injuries.

"We have an obligation to do what's right," he said. "I can't understand how some guys can't see that."

For more than a year, Bielema has argued in favor of rules to restrict the speed with which offenses can operate. In his argument for a proposed 10-second rule, which would have prohibited teams from snapping the ball until at least 10 seconds ran off the 40-second play clock, he even referenced the death of Cal football player Ted Agu. The rule was ultimately tabled.