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The HUNH Rule (AKA Saban’s Law) & why is it not likely to pass

By on February 20th, 2014 in Member Post 5 Comments »

A secret meeting was held in which a small group of coaches tried to “hurry up no huddle” a rule change. Somehow the contents of the meeting became public and revealed that a rule change was being proposed for vote on March 6th without allowing time for debate from anyone opposed to said proposal.

Nick Saban asserted that HUNH offenses specifically, as opposed to and distinct from all other styles of offense, contribute significantly to increased incidence of  defensive player injury.

The above is Saban’s thesis statement. It can be substantiated or disproved with evidence. Coaches opposed to Saban’s Law have said that there is no evidence to support the claim.

Gus Malzahn came out with a statement regarding the issue and has requested that the proposal be tabled until next year. This was an excellent move on his part. First, the extra year provides a reasonable pumping of the brakes on this attempt to hurry up and pass Saban’s Law. Second, Gus and other  HUNH advocates say there is no evidence to support the proposal, and thus the extra year will provide time for everyone to pay specific attention to the issue and gather evidence. However, gathering evidence may not be so simple.

Acid Reign made a statement in the comments on Jay Coulter’s Monday article which illustrates the difficulty Saban’s Law has of passing.

Acid Reign’ wrote the following on FEBRUARY 18, 2014 AT 1:07 AM:

…..They don’t record the position of the play clock in the stats, I don’t think. They record where the game clock is at the start of possessions, after scores, and when a timeout is called. You’d have to go through game film and note when the ball is snapped every play. ESPN usually shows the play clock, but not always. CBS rarely does, till it ticks down under 10 seconds. It would be an epic job to track all that down.”
…..That said, I think Auburn only rarely snapped it less than 10 seconds in. Maybe at the end of each half of the Iron Bowl, when we were hammering Tre Mason up the gut repeatedly while Bama was expecting pass with the clock winding down.”
(See more at:

In order for Saban’s Law to pass, his advocates must provide evidence to support his claim that HUNH offenses cause disproportionate numbers of injuries to defensive players. If the elapsed time of the snap is not recorded, then it is impossible to gather such a crucial bit of information unless, as Acid said, someone watches a lot of film to record the time of the snap.

The amount of attention this issue has raised about the subject, but more importantly about how the proposal was brought before the rules committee, should make it less likely that such a feeble attempt to manipulate the NCAA will succeed.

If Saban’s Law advocates ever do provide a study to support his claim, it will be gone over with a fine tooth comb by hundreds if not thousands of number crunching geeks to examine the validity of the evidence and methodology. If the study is found to be flawed or biased, it will further erode confidence in the NCAA as a fair and legitimate governing body.


  1. DBAU81 says:

    I think it’s going to be just about impossible to come up with any statistically sound correlation between the HUNH and increased risk of injury. Saban knows this as well as anybody, which is why he tried to ram this rule change through while everybody was looking the other way.

    Gus did a very smart thing by taking the eminently reasonable position of asking to table the proposal for a year pending further study. That puts the proponents of the rule in the posture of justifying not only the rule change itself, but also why it’s so urgent that it can’t wait another year – all without any data to back them up.

    It’s good to see the national commentators lining up against this nonsense. They see it for what it is – a transparent attempt by Saban to eliminate the competitive edge the HUNH affords the offense under the pretext of reducing the risk of injury. The lapdog media in Alabama is damn sure never going to point at Little Nicky and say that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes. But that’s another subject entirely.

  2. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    I think we will be fine.

    UPDATE to “I’m mad as hell… but laughing at them just the same!”

    Gus has spoken. And the rules chairman…the AF Academy headcoach has spoken too…

    Seems as if some backtracking is in order. Oh, and Saban has spoken… sort of.

    The media lap dogs are whoofing that there is nothing to see here. BS! There is plenty to see here. We are seeing what I believe to be… the beginning of the end of Nick Saban. I might be wrong… and for the record I have been so plenty of times. But you can’t tell me this is stoking his ego… he isn’t getting his way. Hell, today, I heard he is interested in investing/owning a Mercedes dealership in Irondale. Maybe he is considering life after football?


  3. Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

    Bielema is known for stretching the truth. He had to get Saban to go to the meeting with him to give him some cred. Personally,I’d take Acid’s take on the situation way before the Big pig Bielema.

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      It’s ridiculous that Saban jumped on that train to begin with. I don’t buy it. None of it.

  4. donnajoandmike84 says:

    Dear Bret and Nic,
    Got a second?
    I appreciate your concern for our players safety. I’ve been thinking about it as well, and I have a few more rules that we should add to ensure that the players are safe. So if you could please bring these to the rules committee I would appreciate it. These are rules that should be implemented next season to keep players safe.

    1) If the temperature is above 85 degrees the game will be rescheduled.
    2) A player cannot play in back to back series
    3) Every player on the team must play in at least two series per half
    4) Mandatory water break after every other play
    5)Only one blitz is allowed per half. Delayed blitzes are no longer allowed.
    6)Summer conditioning drills must always be held indoors where the temperature is not to be above 73 degrees.
    7) Defensive backs are no longer allowed to play press coverage. Someone might trip.
    8) If a player feels he is too tired to continue the game but wants to keep playing he will raise his hand and the game will stop until he he feels he can continue.
    9. Quarterbacks can no longer be tackled, he will be down when the referee sees a defensive player get two hands on him.
    10) The score will no longer be kept. And the National Championship will be awarded to the team with the highest combined GPA.

    Thank you for your concern