If Bret Bielema didn’t exist, Nick Saban would have to invent him.

I’ve figured out the role ol’ Bert is playing in the 10-second substitution rule fracas.  He’s there to make Nick Saban seem like the reasonable one.

He also reiterated his stance that the proposal is safety-based — saying he wants to be proactive and make a change before a fatal injury.

The former Wisconsin coach pointed to the recent death of California football player Ted Agu during a training run, saying the inability to substitute an injured player between plays could lead to injury or death…

… He also offered a direct counter to the claim there’s no hard evidence of increased risk of injury.

“Death certificates,” Bielema said. “There’s no more anything I need than that.”

It’s hard, but take a step past the sanctimonious crocodile tears being shed over the random tragedy of a kid’s death – at a February practice! – and the indirect shot at Agu’s coach, who, by the way, is one of the more outspoken critics of the substitution proposal, and focus on the larger ramifications of Bielema’s position.  If a player’s death is all that’s needed to justify changing a rule in the name of player safety, why stop at a 10-second substitution requirement?  Indeed, why stop anywhere?

I mean, start with this…

He mentioned that a half a dozen players with the Razorbacks have been diagnosed with sickle cell trait, and that the team’s trainers must constantly watch the players for signs of dehydration or exhaustion.

“I think it’s still safety battle,” Bielema said. “… I know every one of those coaches probably has a player in that same scenario, but it hasn’t happened.

“It’s kind of like, do we have to have this happen before we talk about it?”

… and ask if a rule banning kids who have been diagnosed with sickle-cell trait from playing the sport shouldn’t be considered.

It’s interesting that a guy who gained national attention for his move a few years ago to have his kick return team go offsides on two kickoff attempts to run out the clock in the first half, thereby exposing 22 special teams players to extra risk of contact (remember, there’s been enough concern about player safety on kickoffs that they were moved five yards closer to the opponent’s end zone to limit the chance for contact) to gain a strategic advantage by abusing a rule has suddenly found religion on player safety.  Or dickish.  Take your pick.

Bielema claims to be confident that the proposal will pass when the NCAA playing rules oversight panel votes on March 6.  I’m pretty confident that if he’s running point on the deal, it won’t.  I’m also pretty confident he won’t be winning any Mr. Popularity awards from his peers in the near future.



He knows he should STFU.  He just can’t come up with a good excuse as to why.


UPDATE #2:  Somebody needs to explain the First law of holes to Bert.

“… What if you’re in the middle of the third or fourth quarter and you know that the kid standing 15 yards away from you or on the other side of the field has this trait. He’s got this built-in possibility of something happening. Your doctors have told you about it. Your trainers have told you about it. He looks at you through those eyes or maybe the trainer even says, “Hey coach, you need to get him out of there.” And you can’t. You have no timeouts. He’s not going to fake an injury. He’s not going to fall down…”

If the trainer says a kid needs to get out of a game, how’s the kid faking an injury?


Filed under Bert... uh... Bret Bielema, It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant

23 responses to “If Bret Bielema didn’t exist, Nick Saban would have to invent him.

  1. Doug

    If Bret Bielema is still employed at the University of Arkansas three years from this date, I will be very, very surprised.


    • mdcgtp

      This +1000. I thought the hire was terrible at the time. Many of the things I have seen and read from him has validated what the Wisconsin fans thought of him, which is that he is a meat head who benefited from having hired one decent crop of asst coaches, and once they left, he was lost. Oh and Russell Wilson miraculously fell in his lap……great coaching Bret. Good job Jeff Long…good job distinguishing between luck and skill.

      Between he and his wife’s petty comments on twitter, its pretty clear that he lacks class, discretion, and sophistication. While none of that theoretically affects his football team, nothing about his first year team suggests that year two will be much better. He will be recycled at a lower Big 10 program after being processed by the SEC.


      • The day after the loss to Bama in the Dome I was in the Atlanta area and picked up some radio show talking about the the Dawgs. Fans were calling in and it was the usual I’m tired of Richt because etc,etc and the the host pressed one guy who do you want besides Richt? Name somebody. The caller said I want the guy at Wisconsin. I laughed and laughed at that. Funny thing was it was probably only a week or so later and he went to Arkansas.


  2. Lorenzo Dawgriguez

    The SEC West is turning into a real rogues gallery for coaches.


    • Merk

      The funny part is that the other coach you would expect to be bitching with Saban would be Miles, instead he is just sitting back laughing as Bielema and Saban make themselves look like even larger a-holes.


  3. Timphd

    What a dope.


    • The Lone Stranger

      Keef will take some of that!


    • Dawgwalker07

      And a drama queen.

      It really is incredibly sad that a kid in California died during a conditioning run, but seriously invoking his death as a means to emotionally pressure the rules committee into enacting a rule favorable to his position is incredibly immature and irresponsible. The fact that this somehow has enough traction to be considered on any level pisses me off. If there were legitimate reasons for concern about player safety I’d be okay, but, like Mark Richt said, if you can train the offense to run 5 or 6 plays in a row you should be able to train the defense to do that too.


  4. TennesseeDawg

    I’m for a rule that states if you are a coach that has never won a conference game, you aren’t allowed to lobby for rule changes.


  5. Ol Dawg

    What about the slow white guys? They’re people, too.


  6. Hogbody Spradlin

    A California player dies during a training run in February; therefore we need to change rules to slow down the game? Got it. Makes perfect sense.


  7. tbia

    Is Bert now the coach who’s picture shows up next to douche in the dictionary


  8. DawgPhan

    This is all #Karma for firing the Nutter.


  9. Ed

    As I was reading a longer version of his comments, each new sentence contained more outrageous and completely moronic excuses for the Saban Rule. I recommended adding Bielema to the descriptive terms for low IQ such as; idiot,imbecile,and moron. Douche bag is also germane.


    • 3rdandGrantham

      The dadgum Germans aint got nothing to do with this.


      • Nice one … good to see I’m not the only one on this blog that is old enough to have watched S&TB in the theater (no bleeping out of the language)! My favorite line from that move … “Gimme a Diablo sandwich and a Dr. Pepper, and make it fast because I’m in a GD hurry.”


  10. Dog in Fla

    “Death certificates,” Bielema said. “There’s no more anything I need than that.”

    Blunt prepares to go off the grid because there’s no more anything he needs than than a homemade long-form


  11. Dog in Fla

    “UPDATE:” Pat Dye should challenge him to a man-enough contest



  12. 69Dawg

    This is bordering on the absurd. I grant you that defensive players have to run on average more than offensive players but damn it is still 11 on 11. The real problem is that college football like pro football has over specialized. Auburn and others have taken advantage of this and simplified their offense so that they can run it with the same players over and over. The defenses in the mean time have gotten so complex that they have “packages” for what they think the offense is going to do (cough CTG). Also since they are so specialized we have 300+ defensive guys who can’t play more than 2 downs without a break. How about we get the defense back down to 270 pound lineman that can run and just GATA. The fly in Saban’s ointment is he has build his team to be big and fast except in the Dline. The pass rush guys are going to get gassed and that’s what the HUNH does best gas big players.
    I think that unlike the pros where most teams run the SOS college is too diverse on offense to over specialize the defense. If you do your going to lose 1 or 2 games a year guaranteed.


  13. Always Someone Else's Fault

    While the player-safety angles for the new rule changes are a best dubious, so is a lot of the counter-commentary. People post pictures of big defensive linemen and laugh about how easy is should be to get them into better shape – and then one of them keels over dead attempting to get into better shape. It’s a lousy reason to change a play clock rule, but it also seems odd to me to dismiss any connection whatsoever.

    Football off-season always features a few stories about players who die or end up in the hospital attempting to keep up with off-season conditioning programs. I’m not an expert in how these programs are conducted, but it’s an awkward reminder of just how physically demanding the game already is and how far these young men will go to play it.


  14. Go Dawgs!

    UPDATE 2: If he’s “looking at you with those eyes” and he needs to come out or the trainer says he needs to come out then YOU GET HIM OUT OF THE GAME. Just run him off and run the next guy in, regardless of if you have time to line up.

    Oh, wait, I’m sorry. I was confused. What you’re actually saying, Bret, is that you care about your player’s well-being but only if it doesn’t cost you a first down, penalty, or a touchdown. You can run that player out of the game. You can run a new guy in who might not be able to get lined up in time. But if his safety is really important to you, does it really make a difference that those mean old Auburn Tigers might get a first down because you were trying to protect him? Of course not!


  15. Dog in Fla

    “UPDATE #2:” How much experience does he have with sickle cell players? He coached at Wisconsin. Weren’t all those players white?


  16. old dawg

    Nick’s system (that he really doesn’t want to change) works so well and he recruits to it like no other. Then his players execute his system as well as anybody could. Methinks Nick is like the old dog who doesn’t want to learn new tricks. Legislation beats adapting as far as Nick goes.