Bielema stresses safety in spread offense debate

© Arkansas News Bureau

BELLA VISTA (Arkansas News Bureau) - Arkansas coach Bret Bielema has helped fuel another college football debate. This time, it revolves around spread offenses.

A story that appeared on on Monday indicated Bielema pitched a plan to the NCAA rules committee aimed at slowing fast-paced attacks. The proposal, which he revealed in an interview during the SEC spring meetings, was framed as a player safety issue and calls for a 15-second substitution period after every first down.

Bielema was asked about it again Friday during a media opportunity before playing in the Northwest Arkansas Razorback Club's Celebrity Golf Scramble. The first-year coach said he doesn't have a problem with the "time of pace" of attacks run by Southeastern Conference foes like Auburn and Ole Miss. His only concern is safety.

"It is kind of been an evolving topic that has been brought up the last couple of years," Bielema said Friday. "I know I wasn't the first SEC coach to comment on it. All that was brought up with the rules committee was, 'Is there a point in time where you have to look at the safety of the players, the student-athletes, who could be on the field for a projected longer amount of time?'"

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