Butch Jones: Us coaches are trying to stop the deregulations
Posted by: Chris Vannini on February 21, 2013
The upcoming deregulations in college football have upset a number of coaches, and Butch Jones is the latest to speak out.
While speaking at the Big Orange TipOff Club, Jones said coaches are hoping to stop the deregulations, or at least slow them down.
"Jim Tressel called me last year, and he said something to me, and it hit home," Jones said. "He said, 'Butch, we have to protect the integrity of our game. It's not professional football. We must make sure we don't solely turn it into an entertainment business. That it's still part of the educational value of going to college.' He's so right. Right now, there's a number of rules that are going into place. Some are supposed to go into effect in July, some in August.
"Us as coaches, we're trying to get it stopped. I can't believe that, as coaches, we didn't have a say. ... There's a lot of things we're trying to get control of. If you're an employee of the university, you can contact these prospective student-athletes. It's an equivalent of this: We have a speed limit for a reason. We may not like the speed limit, but you never hear the law-enforcement agency say, 'We can't enforce it, so we're just going to do away with the speed limit.'
"We're hoping, as coaches, we can have a vote to get this (slowed down or stopped), but if it passes, we have to stay with the times, and I think it's going to be monumental change to college football in terms of contacting these individuals. We're basically now recruiting two classes. It's going to accelerate the process even more."
Jones also talked about some rule changes, and didn't appear to be against the proposed targeting rule, which would be a 15-yard penalty and reviewable ejection. But he brought up kickoffs, and said he thinks the future of football will not include them.
"I do believe, at some point down the road, that the kickoff will be eliminated," he said. "I can see it happening. They've done a five-year study, and most injuries have occurred on the kickoff. Injuries have gone down because they moved the ball up to eliminate the kickoff. But the percentage of kickoffs to injures have stayed the same.
"So I could see in the next five years, I could possibly see that being a reality."
Tennessee begins spring practice on March 9.
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com