Timing changes could roll back

Excellent piece by Steve Wieberg in USA Today today. Or tomorrow. Or whatever, shoot, it’s online now. 🙂

Point being, there is indeed talk about rolling back some of the speed-up changes foisted on us by the big-money level of college football.

Voting at the recent AFCA convention overwhelmingly called for the speed-up rules to be rescinded. One quote from the story was especially telling:

“Some of them even said they played games in two hours,” says Adams, a former supervisor of officials for the Western Athletic Conference and secretary-editor of the rules committee since 1992. “One coach called me, and he was almost in tears. He said, ‘I’ve got 70 guys on my squad, and they work their fannies off all week and I can’t get them in the game.’ “

Thank you! This was a ridiculous rule change that cost student-athletes opportunities in Division III in 2006.

43 thoughts on “Timing changes could roll back

  1. The length of Division III games was quite acceptable prior to this rule. My problem was that the rule didn’t seem to help in the big DI-A bowl games and some regular-season games. A regulation football game simply shouldn’t take four hours or more.

    I can only conclude that at the DIII (and probably DII) level, the rule was entirely unnecessary. The DI-A games obviously have an entirely different problem.

  2. I was sure after the Badgers pulled their little stunt on Penn State and made a mockery of the new rules, that this year would be the end of them. Once you anger Joe Paterno, things are bound to get changed.

  3. I had heard during a D-I Bowl broadcast (is that the right moniker) that televised games were actually longer now than before the rule changes since they added more commercials.

  4. SJU_Nick:

    The D1 bowls take an inordinately long time because of the out-of-control numbers of sponsors and commercial slots that are sold. When you have to take a “media timeout” every 15 seconds or so, it makes the game last forever.

    I only partially blame the NCAA for the fact that the bowls have become more about the commercials and the sponsors than the game, but they could certainly do something to curb this growing trend.

  5. I don’t think that the generally non-televised divisions (I-AA, II and III) ever really had a problem. It’s all a matter of TV coverage and commercials. The only thing I can think of that would help is do what international (and I think NCAA) hockey does: Mandate that the puck WILL be dropped (or in this case the play clock started) 30 seconds after play was previously stopped. That’ll cut down on commercials and thus the overall length of the game.

    BTW, anyone who knows more about international/collegiate hockey rules can feel free to correct me if my information is faulty. I’m certainly not a hockey expert.

  6. I mean don’t change them in the first place. I hate it when rules are changed to speed up a game. Rules should be in place for the game and the players – not advertisers or TV stations.

    How pathetic…

  7. NCAA makes games longer because they want hundreds of millions in advertising. Then they lose viewers because games are too long. Then they foul up the game with rule changes, so they can continue to make hundreds of millions. College football used to be better than the NFL because it was more pure. Now, I feel sick being a fan. Thank God for D-III football!

  8. The NCAA is a joke at best. All they want to do is line their pockets with cash. They don’t care about the game or the fans.

  9. Hey Sean it is good to see you have recovered from your injuries from your fall off the bandwwagon. I thought sure you were trampled by a horse. That’s two down and two to go.

    As far as the rules…the NCAA wanted to speed up the D1 games and set the rules accordingly. The mistake they made was to apply it to all divisions. I mean how could they have this situation with different rules for different divisions right? Make it consistent for all divisions right??????

    So……………..that means playoffs for all divisons……..Yea Yea Yea!

    Change the rules to be consistent NCAA..are you listening?

  10. I mean this in the nicest way possible, but you guys are idiots.

    Stop blaming the NCAA for everything. The bowls aren’t under their control. The BCS most certainly isn’t.

    The college presidents’ grubby hands are all over these moves as well. They want the money too, and need it to keep tuition from rising even more than it already does, or to build more stuff to stay competitive with the next school.

    The TV networks are in on this as well.

    None of these rule changes are getting slammed through by evil NCAA big-wigs intent on destroying the game. These things go through committees and get approval from coaches, etc., if I’m not mistaken. Changes seem to be influenced by people with vested interests in the outcomes of these things.

    That none of the coaches has ever liked this rule is very telling. My guess is it should be rescinded as early as this coming season. For all divisions. Raiderguy, you are right … Division III never had a need for this rule change to begin with.

    The NCAA is not a perfect organization by any means. But let’s try to figure out they things they suck at and criticize them for those. It’s beyond cliche to blame the NCAA for everything and question their motives, but in a lot of ways the NCAA is powerless except for the whims of its member institutions.

    Besides, the fact that NCAA Cross Country exists is proof that there is some noble intent somewhere in Indianapolis.

  11. There was something else written about the issue in USA Today on or around January 10.

    That’s when I forwarded a link to myself for the Year in Review’s “Next Year, This Should Be Changed” item.

  12. I certainly agree with making changes across the board, especially in terms of adding a playoff to the D-1 level being as though they have them as the lower levels…Lets be fair now!!!

    Unfortunately, the amount of money that changes hands during bowl games whether dot com or BCS is more than most of us on this forum can shake a stick at. It is an injustice to college football to not have the issues decided on the field once and for all….Too bad none of us we’ll see it in our lifetime!

    I pray I’m wrong on that last statement!!!!

  13. Raiderguy,

    No, I didn’t fall off the bandwagon. Good luck matching Augustana’s record of 4 National Championships in a row – or beating it. I don’t think you will do it.

    I respect the talent of Mount Union – just not all of their fans.

  14. I’d take nine non-consecutive championships in 13 years over four in a row anyday, but I understand it’s all you have to hang on to, Sean. 🙂

    109 of 110 ain’t too shabby either.

  15. D3Keith,

    The NCAA is about money. The college Presidents are about money, everything is about money. Do you appove the NCAA demanding schools to change mascot names? So this means they are politically correct as well, huh?

  16. D3Keith,

    I agree that is not all the NCAA’s fault. All the people you mentioned have a hand in the till. However, please be reminded that the rule change to speed up the game did go through the process you mentioned last year. All the coaches voted against it because they knew what it would mean to the game and to the kids. The NCAA took the results of each divisions’ coaches last year, completely ignored them and passed the changes anyway. The coaches at the AFCA meeting in San Antonio did the same thing again this year, in voting against the same rule changes again. It is time to see now if the NCAA sees the error of its ways and at least changes the rules back for all divisions except D1.

  17. I’m throwing this out to anybody who might be able to help me out with this. The local D3 school in my neck of the woods (Delaware Valley College) has a wrestling team ranked #4 in the nation (behind perennial powers Augsburg, MN….Wartburg, IA and UW-LaCrosse) and have beaten a couple of D1 and several D2 schools.

    Do any of the other Top 25 D3 Football programs (such as Mount, UWWW, St. John’s, Rowan, etc) have top notch national wrestling programs?

    I’m trying to decipher if most of the top football schools throw the majority of their efforts at football only…….versus having two or three different (men’s) program’s consistently in the Top 25 in their respective sports.

    Thanks for the help.

  18. Sean,
    I’ve got an answer for you on the Around the Nations Post Patterns thread.

    RoCru and Purple Crush,
    I’ll have to respond later, as I really should be finishing Part III, but I would like to have this discussion.

  19. Ro Cru, if this rule change wasn’t supported to begin with, then it was a bad idea to force it through. I’ve never heard one person say they like it, FWIW.
    With regard to the more general comments, briefly:
    Of course the NCAA is about money to an extent, and it’s not a perfect organization.

    However, I find that a lot of the criticism leveled at the NCAA is undeserved, in the sense that people are blaming them for things they’re not responsible for, or not alone in doing. The criticism sometimes comes from people who don’t actually know the reasons why decisions are made or who is making them.

    This is often manifested by people blaming the NCAA for the BCS woes, for example, although most of the people who post here are smart enough to know who controls that.

    I don’t think the NCAA is so much a dictatorship as it is a framework for coaches and college presidents, etc. to keep order. So most blame heaped on the NCAA needs to also be heaped on the member institutions that influence it and dictate its policy. Usually, blaming “the NCAA” comes off sounding like a cop-out from people who don’t know exactly who is responsible for the things they dislike. And I don’t know all the answers there either, I just have a hard time envisioning the NCAA headquarters as a place where evil is generated, to be spread throughout the land.

    As far as the NCAA being about money, I don’t think that being true makes it mutually exclusive from having a noble cause at heart. It’s OK for them to be about their business as long as it’s not only the profit margin driving the decision-making.

    For fans of Division III football and other NCAA-sponsored, non-revenue-producing sports, which get a significant chunk of money from the TV contract for the Division I-A men’s basketball tournament, complaining that NCAA is about money is akin to biting the hand that feeds us.

  20. Duke:

    That’s a really interesting question, one that deserves a little more time than I unfortunately will give it here.

    Looking at this year’s final Top 10 from the poll (an admittedly very narrow division of successful football teams), UW-Whitewater (No. 2) won the Division III baseball championship a couple years ago. Capital (No. 3) has been very respectable in Men’s Basketball in recent years. St. John Fisher (No. 4) was the last undefeated team in men’s basketball a couple years ago while they’ve been building the football program.

    So I’m not sure there’s much of a correlation.

  21. Duke:

    I know that the Johnnies have in the past had a successful wrestling program, though a look at their website indicates that this year has not been successful. You probably won’t see many conference titles to their name, but that’s the consequence of being in the same conference as Augsburg.

    St. John’s won outright or shared the conference title in every fall sport in which they participate this year: football, soccer, cross country, and golf. The latter three programs have had lots of success in recent years, with the golf team being among DIII’s elite. The hockey team has also had several very successful years recently. Basketball has struggled the last few years, but is off to a fantastic start this year; they just suffered their first conference loss on Monday.

    I agree with Gordon, then, that there doesn’t seem to be much correlation between good football schools who are poor at other sports.

  22. Alfred University once had a wrestling program that was headed up by none other than the “legendary” AU Football Coach Alex Yunevich! But wrestling has been gone now for decades. Ithaca College has always had a solid wrestling program; in fact, the local high school coach is an Ithaca grad and he’s developed an outstanding high school program.

    Just had a discussion with a retired AU track and field coach about Alfred athletes participating in more than one sport. Outstanding athletes may be recruited for one sport but double up. With “spring training” for football, do other colleges find there’s a conflict for the rare two-sport athlete? Do D3 football coaches hold “exclusive rights” to a D3 athlete they have recruited?

    On another note, as for the NCAA and money, here’s one D3 fan happy that the NCAA provides the best possible care (insurance coverage) for its athletes who suffer debilitating injuries in the midst of competition.

  23. dukefinadv,

    Mount Union’s Wrestling Program was coached by Don Montgomery (Now HFC at Emory & Henry) from 1978-2000. He had a run of 6 OAC Championships from 84-90. Then placed either 2nd or 3rd in Conference from 91-94, had three more OAC Championships from 95-97, finally was 3rd or 4th in Conference from 98-00 when he stepped down and focused on Football and the Strenth and Conditioning Coaching position for all Varsity Sports.

    Coach Montgomery’s Wresting Team record was 212-98-4 from 1978-2000.

  24. Duke-

    UWW’s Men’s Track team is consistently in the top 25 in the nation as well as our volleyball, mens basketball (somewhat), and baseball (7 out of the last 8 conference championships and one natiional championship in 05) . In fact our volleball team is far more dominating than our football team (two national titles in the last five years).

  25. Mount Union has been a track power on and off since the 60’s. There have been many instances of football players competing in track and wrestling for that matter. Last spring Pierre Garcon ran a leg on the National Championship 4 X 100 team. It might surprise some to know that he was the slowest of the four runners.

  26. An interesting look at the “do schools with outstanding football teams do well in other sports” question can be obtained by looking at the final NACDA Directors Cup standings for the past few years. I don’t think you’ll find a *great* correlation there but it’s an interesting place to get the information from a compact source.

    Re wrestling: not as many D3 schools have wrestling programs, for possibly the same reason that not many D1 programs exist any more: Title IX. There are 96 programs according the NCAA; a decent number, but one which pales in comparison to football, basketball, or baseball.

    Anyway: http://www.nacda.com/ for anyone interested.

  27. To piggyback off what Ron mentioned and to caveat what Gordon said, Capital had a very good Fall sports season, with the Football team, the Volleyball, and Women’s soccer team making the NCAA’s and the men’s soccer team finishing second in the OAC. The cross country program is young, but improving. Overall, after the fall sports season, Capital was 23rd out of 430, the highest ranked OAC team. Here is the link for the Capital release: http://www.capital.edu/Internet/Default.aspx?pid=10775

    As for other sports seasons, Capital’s Basketball has had a nice run for the last 5-7 years or so. The year Otterbein won the championship, Capital lost only three games, all to Otterbein, but somehow failed to make the tourney. Since then they have kind of been up and down, but consistently in the top half of the OAC. The women’s basketball won a couple of National titles in the mid 90’s and have been consistently good for a long time. The wrestling program at Cap was disbanded in the late 90’s to add men’s indoor and outdoor track and field and stay in compliance with title IX. Both track teams have had football players on them, and some, like former RB Jeremy Mulkey, WR Charlie Smith, WR Matt Cesearatto, and OL Brad Armstrong have set Capital track records. Capital track has also qualified several individuals for the NCAA’s in the past few years. When I was in school in the mid 90’s, several Football players also played baseball, but checking the roster, I don’t see any now. The Baseball team has been down for a few years, but looks to be improving. I honestly don’t know much about men’s golf, but I know that a few years back, Capital had one of the top female golfers in the country.

    Overall, I think most of the OAC schools do a great job of “spreading the wealth” amongst all sports. Some of the other posters have mentioned some of the programs. One that wasn’t mentioned is Otterbein, who has a really good Basketball program and a baseball program that consistently finishes near the top of the OAC. Otterbein cross country and track are also historically pretty good.

    Hope this was somewhat helpful. Sorry about the length.

  28. To add Ithaca to the discussion of other schools having ranked teams in sports other than football. IC has had a long tradition of national powers in various sports. The Bombers list of Men’s National Champions includes:

    1979 Football
    1980 Baseball
    1988 Baseball
    1988 Football
    1989 Wrestling
    1990 Wrestling
    1991 Football
    1994 Wrestling

    Various women’s sports have also won national titles. Currently the IC mat men are ranked 22 in the country and have posted a 7-2 record.

  29. Actually it’s 6 out of the last eight and in 03 even though they didn’t win the regular season they won the conference tournament. I was judging by the amount of trophies I thought i saw in the case but you’re right in a way.

  30. Tournament championships aren’t conference championships:

    Last 8 years:
    2006 – Whitewater
    2005 – Whitewater
    2004 – Whitewater
    2003 – Oshkosh
    2002 – Stevens Point
    2001 – Whitewater
    2000 – Whitewater
    1999 – Oshkosh

    That’s 5 no matter who you slice it.

  31. Getting back to the topic for which this thread began, that being the overwhelming desire to rescind the “speed-up rules” in football, and sparked by an ATN Part 3 comment that “We want that back, and we were fine spending three hours at the game,” AUPepBand felt somewhat cheated by the hurry up, particularly in Week 4. Pep arose at 4:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, met the band in the dark and rain on campus at 5:30 a.m., made the six-hour drive to Springfield, MA for a 12 noon kick-off which ended at 2:45 p.m. with AU on the short end of a 41-34 score, after which, we packed up the AUPep bandwagon and, after a dinner stop, returned to Mayberry (Alfred) at about 10:30 p.m. in, once again, the dark and the rain. Another 15 minutes of action on the field would have been fine for the band as it would not have taken anything away from our road trip game of “bury all your horses.”

  32. If you got 2:45 out of a Springfield game, consider yourself lucky. That’s more along the lines of the games they played under the old timing rules.

  33. That’s what the box score said. Seems to me like we were out of there earlier than that…felt like I was still stretching the limbs from the six hours on the road when it was time to hit the road again. There may have been a couple of injuries that prolonged the game. Date was actually Sept. 23, as if it matters. AU was playing catch-up ball; twice had SC held to a 4th-and-1, both times Sharpe broke for a TD run, 50 yards early in 4th, 15 yards late in 4th. Second one came with 1:38 remaining when Sharpe handed off to Jackson who was going nowhere, then grabbed the ball back from Jackson and ran for the winning TD. AU moved 69 yards on 8 plays to score with 11 seconds remaining to pull within 41-34. But the ensuing onside kick was recovered by Springfield. AUPepBand is hoping Saxon defense will keep Mr. Sharpe contained at Merrill Field on Sept. 22, 2007.

  34. As far as well rounded athletic programs, UWW has one of the best in the country (insert biased remark here). The men’s track program has finished in the top 3 at nationals (indoor and outdoor) at least twice in the past 4 years I believe along with being second in the conference behind national powerhouse UW-L (23 total national titles, 6 straight indoor) 7 times in the past 4 years. Women’s volleyball were national champs last year and lost in the semi’s this year. Baseball was national champs two years ago and (going off of the UWW athletic website) have 6 of the last 7 WIAC championships. Wrestling is currently ranked 15th in the country. UWW also has one of the best wheelchair basketball programs in the country, having won 3 of the last 4 national championships (lost last year in the title game) and are currently 17-2 this season.

    Just thought I’d throw my two cents in.

    On the actual topic of this thread, I think that the rules should definitely be rescinded at the very least for D3 and D2 as these games were not in need of being sped up. For D1, I don’t know if I agree that the rule should be rescinded, but loopholes (such as Wisconsin vs Penn St.) should be dealt with. Nobody makes Joe Pa angry and gets away with it.

  35. In my experience, a d3 football game is a gathering of families, friends and relatives who are there to watch and enjoy football being played, “for the love of the game”. It is like a fine wine, you dont chug a fine wine you sip and enjoy every last moment. D1 is an entirely different animal. D3 should go back to the old rules to permit more student atheletes an opportuity to participate. Just my opinion.

  36. Keith,

    Great job on part III. The longer, the better, and it was longer and better.

    Can’t wait for next season.

    P.S. Yes, I’m hanging on to the four in a row thing – it is the only record MU does not have.

  37. Keith,

    Great job on all the posts. Looking forward to next year. Look out for UMHB, they will be hard to beat. I plan on going to the UWW game. If we can beat UWW up there then look out for the Crusaders.


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