Written by Corbett Smith
No 'Aledo rule': the UIL rejects proposals to create mercy rule in 11-man football
It was a weird sight for the UIL's Standing Committee on Athletics - two TV cameras positioned to film Tuesday afternoon's committee hearings. While a lot of important items are discussed in both the Standing Committee on Athletics and the Policy Committee meetings, both are procedural stepping stones - needing eventual Legislative Council approval for action. It's hardly "Must-See TV."
Even more odd was why the cameras were there. Both were poised to capture how the athletics committee would deal with two proposals from the public, asking that the league consider implementing a mercy rule in 11-man football. The attention was sparked by national coverage that Aledo's 91-0 win over Fort Worth Western Hills. UIL media coordinator Kate Hector said the "Aledo rule" proposal - as it was dubbed by Aledo coach Tim Buchanan - received the most media interest of any item prior to the Legislative Council meetings.
But anyone hoping to catch a monumental change in how blowouts are decided in Texas football left disappointed. The committee breezed over the issue, quickly rejecting the written proposals.
Specifics on how a mercy rule might be implemented weren't even discussed. A 45-point mercy rule currently exists in six-man football, but that wasn't suggested as a template. Members of the committee and UIL staff - including athletic director Mark Cousins - pointed to two aspects on why a 11-man mercy rule wasn't needed: 1) coaches can currently end a 11-man blowout if desired, ending the contest or heading to a running game clock to ameliorate uneven contests and 2) changing the rules would cut participation from reserves in 11-man games, while six-man teams rarely have a full assortment of second- and third-string players.