So the NCAA, which I guess sees no reason to be busying itself with anything else that’s going on in college basketball at the moment, has come up with some utterly ridiculous rules that they intend to test out during this year’s NIT. They say that testing it during the NIT will “provide the opportunity to gather invaluable data and measure the experience of the participants.” Umm, okay.
I’ll begin by examining these experimental rules in a completely objective way, because as you know everything I do is completely objective. I will then follow up with the rules the NCAA should be using and give an ingenious argument as to why, because as you know every argument that I make is ingenious.
Let’s start with making it so that the shot clock only resets to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound. I guess they want to speed the game up. Okay, think of college basketball in the same way you think of love-making. Some people like to go fast, and that’s great! Others like to go slow, and you know what? that’s great too! Part of what’s great about college basketball is that there are all kinds of ways to do it, and we get to see and experience all the different ways that it’s done. In the NBA, where the rules force the tempo, that’s not the case. Not everyone likes to go fast! They shouldn’t have to go fast! Some teams are really good at going slow, and that’s fine. I don’t need to collect any invaluable data to know that they should leave the shot clock alone!
Next, let’s move on to quarters. Why are quarters even a thing?? In any sport?? Seriously?? A hundred or so years ago, who was it that said “Hey, you know what we need to do? We need have the game clock count down to the point to were the half is half over!” That is impractical and makes no sense at all!! That person should have been laughed out of the room. Instead, not only was this person not laughed out of the room, but his/her ludicrous idea of counting down to a stoppage point in the middle of the half for no real reason was adopted and became the norm. Truth be told I don’t like quarters in football or the NBA either. Just put 30 minutes on the clock and play until the half. This is dumb. It adds nothing. I don’t see what “invaluable data” can be collected on the ridiculous notion of counting down to the halfway point of the half.
I’m not as bothered by moving the three point line back or widening the lane, but in saying that I really don’t see the point in it either. I don’t see how this invaluable data that’s being collected will conclude that it enhances the game. But…whatever.
Okay, now on to what they should be experimenting with…
–TIMEOUTS. There are an obscene number of timeouts during a college basketball game. We have the media timeouts at the 16, 12, 8, and 4 minutes of each half. Plus another full media timeout for the first called time out of each half. Plus up to six more timeouts that the teams can call. That’s 16 timeouts in a 40 minute game. So, I would do two things here. For starters, each team gets one timeout per half. That’s it. Teams don’t need any more than that when they have the media timeouts every four minutes. Secondly, and I’m not kidding about this, timeouts should not be allowed to be called when the ball is inbounds. Basketball is the only sport that allows this, and it’s ridiculous. Good defense can be offset by merely calling timeout. Teams can’t do that in football. If the quarterback is rushed out of the pocket and about to be sacked they can’t just call timeout. A batter can’t pop it up in baseball, or hit into a double play, and prevent it by just calling timeout. NO OTHER SPORT ALLOWS TIMEOUT TO BE CALLED WHEN THE BALL IS IN PLAY!!! Basketball shouldn’t either!!
–REPLAY. I’m not for getting rid of it entirely. I am for eliminating five minute gaps where the officials are watching television in order to get the call right. A stoppage in play for that long is far more disruptive than a wrong call, especially if it’s that close. So, this is what I would propose. The standard needs to be “indisputable evidence.” If after 60 seconds of watching it on the monitors the referees still are not sure, then by definition there must be some sort of dispute. Therefore, it is NOT indisputable. The original call stands, and we get on with the game. Few things are less enjoyable during a basketball game than watching the referees watch television for five minutes at a time! I mean it! After 60 seconds I want a horn to blow and for the power to the monitor to be turned off!
–INTENTIONAL FOULS. Something else that feels like nails on a chalkboard is the foul parade at the end of most college basketball games. An intentional foul or a flagrant foul should be defined as just that. The INTENT is to foul. If the intent is to play defense and a player inadvertently fouls, then it should be called a foul. If the intent is to foul and there isn’t even an attempt to play defense, then it should be a flagrant/intentional foul. This should absolutely be enforced in the final minutes of a game when a team is fouling on purpose.
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