I find myself wondering quite often if the NCAA really “gets” it; If they understand why college basketball is as popular as it is, and what it will take to make it more popular.
Their latest batch of proposed rules isn’t likely to change that sentiment much. Because it almost seems like they’re taking both a step forward, followed immediately by a step back.
It should be noted that this isn’t a year for rule changes, meaning that unless it’s considered a major safety issue, it’s unlikely that any of these proposed changed should be pushed through. But it’s still important to note what they’re proposing, and whether they have and weight when the rules committee meets both this and next summer.
The biggest proposal is by and far the best, and one that needs to be taken care of right away: those temporary decals that seem to get plastered all over the court for everything from pre-season tournaments, to in-season promotions, to “it’s Wednesday, and we could” could soon be a thing of the past. The reason, they’re dangerous to the players, which is about the best possible reason one could have for wanting a rule change.
And it appears the rules committee may be listening.
Citing temporary decals and logos that may cause players to slip, the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Rules Committees are recommending a rules change that requires the court be “of a consistent surface” so student-athlete safety is not compromised.
Simple physics here: they decals are slick. And when you go from a less slick surface, to a more slick surface, you’re more likely to slip on that surface, possibly affecting the outcome of games, and much worse, injuring players.
It seems like a simple solution, until you realize that there’s money involved, and quite possibly a lot of it. Personally, I don’t care how much sponsors pay for those decals. The money doesn’t justify the risk for the players. But the companies that buy these decals to promote a product or business, and the schools and networks that get that money and get to spend it, probably do care. And depending on just how much money those decals are worth, they may care a lot.
There is another solution, although I’m not sure how well it can truly be implemented. You may have noticed during ESPN’s coverage towards the end of the season that they were superimposing the shot clock onto the court. It’s not a far cry from the technology that various tv entities use to put a yellow first down line on the field during football games. Sure, that can be used, right? Except not every TV station has that option, and neither will every school.
This is one issue where we could find out if safety truly is paramount.
Don’t Yell At Me!
Why are we considering empowering the referees?
Another proposal is essentially telling referees to call more technical fouls on coaches or players that argue about calls. And just to take it a step further, showing extreme disgust, even if not technically “arguing,” counts.
One of the things that makes sports great is emotion, of both the players and coaches. And that one things that’s always made college basketball especially so great. Yes, there is a point where players and coaches can cross the line, and that should be handled.
But “emphatically taking off one’s coat,” does not cross that line.
There are no charges
“The committee feels the block/charge call was missed on too many occasions.”
Close. They feel that the block call was missed. They don’t feel the same about the charge call.
Although they may have a point here. The idea behind this change is that since the arc was created under the basket, referees are looking only, or mostly, at the player’s feet. If they’re outside the arc, then it’s a charge, regardless if they were set up.
But the problem may simply be the arc itself. They have to look at the feet, because the arc forces them to. They can’t look at both at once. Either they’re going to be concerned about the feet, or the position.
If this change goes into effect, they’ll be back in two years saying refs aren’t paying enough attention to the arc.
Technology is your friend (or is it?)
Ah, the iPad. Coaches already use them outside of game. But should they be allowed on the bench?
In today’s internet age, you could get a host of information in game, and one of the items mentioned is video. How nice would it be to be able to break down a play a team just ran a few minutes ago during a media timeout?
Sure, but how realistic is it. Sure, coaches can pull internet streams, but how many will be able to use them in game? Couldn’t you allow the technology, but ban internet use? I mean, how many schools don’t already have cameras all over the coaches anyway? Could one really get away with breaking that rule on the sideline?
In the OVC, yeah, it might be possible. And in smaller conference too. But it wouldn’t take long for a fan, or a journalist of some sort to catch on.
I do agree that technology isn’t going away, so the NCAA better find a way to deal with it than simply banning it.
College Basketball Talk: Some other proposed rule changes