June 1, 2004
During the offseason, there have been numerous discussions regarding proposed rule changes in college basketball.
The NCAA rules committee recently approved changes on an experimental basis for early-season certified tournaments (such as the Maui Invitational and Great Alaska Shootout). The proposed changes include an experimental free-throw lane that is 1½ feet wider on each side, a 3-point line that is extended to 20 feet, 6 inches and an arc in the lane drawn two feet from the center of the hoop to assist with charge/block calls (similar to the lane arc currently utilized by the NBA).
These are quality rules. I know some people have said the game shouldn't be changed, but I firmly believe that if you can improve it and create a better situation, why not? I feel these are healthy rules that would make the game better.
It's all about keeping excitement in the game and keeping the fans in the action.
Let's hope they become part of the game for all contests sometime in the near future. It will help to add to a game we all love dearly.
A rule that I'd love to see added ties into the recent Lakers-Spurs finish, as Derek Fisher hit the miracle shot in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals. I would love to see the college game adapt a scenario where coaches could determine whether to take the ball out of bounds in the final two minutes of play. They would have the option of taking the ball out under the basket or on the sideline.
If that rule didn't exist in the NBA, the Lakers probably wouldn't have won that game and perhaps would have lost the series.
This would be great for the fans of college hoops. It's all about keeping excitement in the game and keeping the fans in the action. I know there are a lot of egos involved, and a lot of times they don't want to emulate the pros. But if you can bring in a rule to help the game, it doesn't really matter where it came from.
It's all about creating competitive basketball and helping add strategy to a last-second situation. I feel that if you tweak the rules, you make a great sport even better.
Dick Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons and the University of Detroit in the 1970s before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979 (he has been an ESPN analyst ever since). Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.