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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

NCAA Takes on Charging, Promptly Flops

Posted by on Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 11:42 AM

It's that time of year in college basketball.  All the nets have been cut down, the late signing period has wrapped up and college basketball's best talent is getting put through the motions by NBA scouts.  This is the time of year when the brass of college basketball get together and deliberate rule changes.  Some rules you may remember are the experimental jump ball, wider lanes and last season's extended three-point line.

This year NCAA officials have decided to cut back on flopping by adopting the NBA's rule that players beneath the basket cannot draw charges.

Except with one small difference: The NCAA isn't actually going to put any additional markings on the floor.  The hardwood at the RBC Center, Smith Center and Cameron Indoor Stadium will be unchanged. Referees will have to make all the calls without any handy visual aids.

The NCAA finally got the policy correct: Legislating against drawing charges so close to the basket will make college basektball more fun to watch. However, they have dropped the ball on the bureaucratic side of the issue. A rule that is in practice a good idea will simply be another hassle for officials. Not only will they have to make the presently difficult charge/ blocking foul distinction, now they need to be able to use an imaginary line to help distinguish the two.  According to the News & Observer's report, the NCAA will be unable to add a line for at least four more years.

The best case scenario is that the rule will eventually be fully in place, line and all.  However, the present situation is an unfortunate compromise that will hopefully not last the promised four years.

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