College football rule changes: What are your proposals to improve player safety?

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

We all agree that the proposed hurry-up no-huddle offense proposed rule-changes are dumb. If you were to make a rule change to improve player safety, what would it be and why? Give us your thoughts in the comments.

Avinash Kunnath: The biggest change I'd make is to force players who take an injury timeout to sit out the drive. Sonny proposed this back in the fall and it still holds plenty of sway with me. There's no reason a college football player should go down, take a snap off, and be back in the game within two or three plays.


Also, if a college football player gets hurt multiple times within a game, the amount of time he misses the rest of the game should increase. Two drives for two injury timeouts. Maybe the entire game for three timeouts.

LeonPowe: I think some real work needs to be done looking at helmets - I realize that the HUNH rule changes aren't about concussions, but it feels like concussions are still a lot more life changing (in a negative way) than say an ACL tear or a broken collarbone. Why they're not mandating the extra padded helmets is beyond me.

Leland Wong: This is the million-dollar question, especially for the booming business that is the NFL, which is looking to maintain an audience that is beginning to be turned off by the barbaric play and all-too-frequent injuries. I think we'll see considerable progress in payer safety with the evolution of new equipment or even some bioengineered treatment like medical bioremediation that will clear away aggregates of deleterious molecules that cause ailments like chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE); however, these advancements probably won't come for quite some time unless we want to start using some risky human guinea pigs. Any volunteers? Hopefully, immediate progress can be seen with changes to the rules that will put player safety foremost.

While Bret Bielema's claims of the lethality of sickle cell trait seem to be exaggerated, there may be other conditions that have a significant chance of being fatal in extreme cases of exertion. One potential rule change would be to screen all players to determine if they have such a condition. While this may sound cold-hearted, a player with such a severe condition should be advised against playing a sport like football where he would not have control over taking breaks.

Vlad Belo: Avinash pretty much provided the answer I would give. Also, if we're talking about player safety in the sense of wanting to reduce the number of plays in a game (which is what Nick Saban and Bret Bielema seem to want to do), how about eliminating the clock stoppage at every first down. Keep the clock running, like the NFL. That ought to reduce the number of plays in a game.

What are your proposed rule changes? Let us know in the comments!

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