At a press conference before meeting with boosters, Arkansas Coach Brett Bielema gave his opinion on the proposed rule to limit pace of play in college football.
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
Bielema said opponents of the rule change are "turning a blind eye to the fact," of injury risks.— Troy Schulte (@TroySchulteADG) February 21, 2014
Was asked about perception that the change is from 'sour grapes' by coaches who don't hurry up. "Don't bother me in any way shape or form."— Troy Schulte (@TroySchulteADG) February 21, 2014
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
You would think that a coach would be sensitive to how awful it must feel to lose one of your players. How heart-rending it must be to inform his family and loved ones. If that coach were a decent human being with a heart and soul, I hope you'd be right.
Brett Bielema is apparently neither. Shame on you, Mr. Bielema. How dare you use a tragedy to further your own selfish agenda? You owe Ted Agu's family an apology.
UPDATE: Here is link to the AP story regarding Bielema's quotes.
Bielema, speaking to the media before a meeting of the White County Razorback Club, said he expects the proposal to prohibit snapping the ball until at least 10 seconds run off the 40-second play clock to pass when the NCAA playing rules oversight panel votes on March 6.
He also reiterated his stance that the proposal is safety-based — saying he wants to be proactive and make a change before a fatal injury.
The former Wisconsin coach pointed to the recent death of California football player Ted Agu during a training run, saying the inability to substitute an injured player between plays could lead to injury or death.
"If one of those players is on the field for me, and I have no timeouts, I have no way to stop the game," Bielema said. "And he raises his hand to stop the game, and I can't do it. What am I supposed to do?
"What are we supposed to do when we have a player who tells us he's injured?