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The chair of the NCAA basketball rules committee is not full of good ideas

"Who has two thumbs and is probably evil?"
"Who has two thumbs and is probably evil?"
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The rules committee is meeting this week to discuss the possibility of shortening the shot clock to 30 seconds. I've already said I think this is a dumb idea, and I've also already thrown up a link to The Sporting News's Mike DeCourcy saying the same thing but in a better way. While it would be overdramatic to say that the future of the game is in the balance, I think it's fair to say that the quality of the product on the floor is likely to be affected by the decision(s) made this week by the people with power to alter the rules.

Fortunately, you can trust the NCAA to put someone competent in charge when there is a big decision to be made. Actually, that's not categorically true, as they have tabbed Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany as the chair of the NCAA men's basketball officiating/competition committee. I live in Columbus, and if talk radio chatter here is any indication, Delaney is a universally reviled character. Why?

It currently pivots around his advocacy of universal freshman ineligibility. Set aside the UKs and Dukes of the world and think about what Xavier would have looked like without Trevon, JP, O'Mara, and LAJ this year. Jim Delany thinks that would have been awesome. He also wanted to add three more scholarships to men's college basketball, effectively making it possible for good recruiting power teams to stockpile even more of the top talent on their rosters, regardless of whether or not they could use it.

Delany's past greatest hits also include opposing the college football playoff before trying to get college football playoff games hosted on the campus of the higher-ranked school to preserve the old bowl structure. He also has advocated for making players stay in school longer and against any sort of financial compensation for college athletes. He has instituted concussion testing protocols for the Big Ten but said that the penalty for breaking them will be being told to "do better."

All this adds up to a consistent picture of Jim Delany as a somewhat misguided (or perhaps just not very bright, though I doubt that's the case) who operates largely without consideration to the student-athletes or any school smaller than the academic-athletic mega-complexes that make up the Big Ten. I have no doubt that Delany is a shrewd operator, and he has done very well in advancing his conference during the 23 years he has been commissioner. None of that makes me feel very confident that he will lead the rules committee to decisions that will be beneficial for NCAA basketball at large.