Campus Corner

MU’s Gary Pinkel calls danger of fast-paced offenses fiction

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel
Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel AP

Arkansas football coach Bret Bielema has a way of clashing with his Southeastern Conference counterparts.

Bielema has been outspoken against up-tempo offenses, calling them a player-safety issue.

In February, the outspoken Bielema even claimed that death certificates were proof that fast-paced offenses lead to more injuries, citing the death of Cal’s Ted Agu, a remark for which he later apologized.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel refuted any such assertion during his remarks Wednesday at SEC Media Days, calling the notion that breakneck offenses are dangerous nonsense.

He pointed out that many Big 12 teams have deployed up-tempo spread offenses for close to a decade.

“No one has ever come to me in all those years and said, ‘Gosh, I’m really concerned about the health of our team playing these fast-paced offenses,’” Pinkel said.

He noted that he’s never had a doctor, trainer or assistant coach express any concern.

“I think it’s fiction,” Pinkel said.

When asked about Pinkel’s comment, Bielema said, “I’m probably more of a reality-based movie guy more than fiction. I think I deal more in what I know, what I see, what I believe.”

Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, who uses a fast-paced offense, was among the coaches who took exception to Bielema’s campaign against the up-tempo craze.

But Bielema insisted there is no ill will better himself and Malzahn.

“I can’t say that we’re breaking bread together and going to dinner when we can, but I’m not throwing bread at him and rocks or anything else,” Bielema said. “It’s just what it is.”

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at @todpalmer.

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