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Bret Bielema Elaborates On HUNH Opposition; Cites Death Certificates, Ted Agu

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Looks like we can all look forward to another fun-filled Razorback football off-season!

They're going too fast! Make them stop!
They're going too fast! Make them stop!
Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

Bret Bielema spoke at a Razorback Club event in Searcy Wednesday night, and it was the first time he's spoken publicly since the announcement that a 10-second rule had been proposed to keep offenses from snapping the ball too quickly.

He was asked about that in Searcy, and the reaction to his comments has not been, uh, good. At all. It's basically a disaster.

The main backlash is due to Bielema's citing of the recent death of Cal football player Ted Agu

[Bielema] 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.

"If one of those players is on the field for me, and I have no timeouts, I have no way to stop the game," Bielema said. "And he raises his hand to stop the game, and I can't do it. What am I supposed to do?

"What are we supposed to do when we have a player who tells us he's injured?"

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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."

Of course, Agu's tragic death occurred during an off-season run, not on the field and hardly attributable to any particular style of offense. In fact, there has yet to be a player die from HUNH-related causes as far as we know.

And players who are hurt are certainly welcome to remain lying, kneeling, or sitting on the ground to indicate their inability to continue play, and referees are by rule supposed to stop the game to allow the player to be substituted.

Our friends at the Cal SB Nation site weren't pleased. They called the comment "Disgusting. Insensitive. Callous. Vile. Despicable. Abhorrent."

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>So, Bret Bielema is making even more friends in the college football community.&#10;&#10;This is FAR more outrageous speech than Richard Sherman.</p>&mdash; Matt Zemek (@MattZemek) <a href="https://twitter.com/MattZemek/statuses/436662463879053313">February 21, 2014</a></blockquote>

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Those are some of the more tame ones. Do a twitter search for Bielema and it's not pretty.

But he also said he's excited about Clay Jennings! All in all seems like a solid night out with the fans.