Mike Slive calls for creation of football rules committee

rblack@ledger-enquirer.comApril 21, 2014 

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The SEC has been ground zero for the debate over hurry-up, no-huddle offenses and whether they present a danger to defensive players.

Championing the up-tempo attacks have been Auburn's Gus Malzahn, Ole Miss' Hugh Freeze and Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin. Alabama's Nick Saban and Arkansas' Bret Bielema have taken the opposite point, often pointing out their issues with fast-paced offenses.

When asked to weigh in on the pace of play argument Monday, SEC commissioner Mike Slive at first demurred, joking that, "If I had an opinion on that, I’m going to be squeezed to pieces."

Instead, he offered a suggestion: Create a competition committee for football.

"That issue would have been appropriately raised in the first instance in a football competition committee who would not necessarily look at rules, but look at the game," he said. "We’ve done that in men’s basketball."

Slive then posed a series of questions the hypothetical committee would analyze each year.

"How is the game being played? What is the relationship (between) offense and defense? How does officiating impact the game?" he said. "This is for people who care about the game. This would have been a perfect subject for someone to look at the game itself — who cares about the game — and then come up with an interpretation of (it). And only then would it go to the rules panel if that committee recommended some change in the game because they believed in the long-term best interests of the game."

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