clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Why I don't like the proposed NCAA rule changes

The NCAA seems intent on changing the game of basketball for reasons not immediately clear to me.

It's not tough to find a picture of someone unhappy with an official.
It's not tough to find a picture of someone unhappy with an official.
Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Somehow the media narrative got started last season that college basketball is broken and unwatchable. The loudest voices in this choir are always college football writers and NBA guys, which leads me to wonder why they can't just shut up and go back to their favorite sports instead. I know the answer, of course: they have quotas to fill so they just churn out garbage content.

Anyway, enough noise was made that people who actually matter to college hoops got the idea that changes need to be made. Here are the three ideas that have been thrown out the most along with the reasons I don't like them.

Shorten the shot clock

This is actually the least bothersome to me as well as being the one we're likely to see the soonest. I like the long shot clock because it gives time for pattern offenses like the Wisconsin Swing. Failing that, teams can run a set and - if it melts down - reset and run another one. With that said, I understand that there are teams that just putz around 30 feet from the basket before running one play with 12 seconds left on the shot clock. By and large, I don't think the efficiency of offenses is going to be helped by making them hurry more often. This one just leads to sloppier play in my mind, but it's not a horrible idea to get teams who overtly stall to put it in gear.

Widen the arc under the bucket

If officials would correctly enforce the block/charge as written in the rule book, this wouldn't be an issue. If a help defender hasn't established legal guarding position prior to the offensive player starting his shot, he shouldn't be eligible to draw a charge. Widening the charge arc under the bucket just gives already mediocre refs a bigger bail-out zone on having to actually make a good call. Hold officials accountable before you alter the paint on the floor.

Push back the three-point arc

This is by far the dumbest suggestion. The idea behind this movement according to its proponents is that it would force defenders to come farther from the bucket, thus spacing the floor more. The reality is that no coach is currently urging his team to charge down opponents 22 feet from the rim, and having that be the compulsory distance from which to shoot to be awarded three points isn't going to make them change that. All this does is make shots that were worth three points and thus a priority to defend into very long two-pointers that defenses will gladly concede. This rule change would have the exact opposite of the desired impact.