Commentary

Rules changes to help college hoops

Updated: April 24, 2013, 12:03 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

The time has come for college basketball to make some rule changes to make the game better.

It is time to look at the rules and make decisions that will make the games more exciting. During this off-season, I believe that the powers that be will examine many aspects of the sport.

Personally, I am going to throw a couple out there that would help.

First off, I am sick and tired of seeing star players getting whistled for two quick fouls and then winding up on the sideline. Nothing against the officials that are out there doing their job, but there were too many times this past season where stars were sitting because coaches were afraid they would get a third foul in the first half.

The foul situation often hampered a team's offense because a player would become more timid when they were on the court and in foul trouble.

It is time to increase the number of fouls for disqualification from five to six. The game is played at a faster pace and is so much more physical. Teams practice and prepare and then their star is sent to the sidelines, saddled with foul trouble and it is off to the pine, baby!

People get excited to see the superstars on the court, not on the bench. It is disappointing when the best players are taken out of the game.

Look at the Louisville vs. Michigan national championship game. Trey Burke, the Wooden Award winner and first-team All-Solid Gold performer, missed most of the first half after picking up his second foul. I know that there was some criticism of John Beilein's strategy to keep him on the bench for the rest of the half, though I had no problem with it since the Wolverines were playing well and Spike Albrecht was having the half of a lifetime.

Michigan had Burke in the second half, but fell just short.

If the rule was six fouls for disqualification, that would not have been an issue. Who knows if the result would have been different, but the game would have been played differently.

Fans don't pay to see the refs blow their whistles. Again, that is not a knock on the zebras, who work so hard. They come to see the players play. I think everyone wants the stars to be on the court and in action, doing their best.

You don't see this happen in baseball or football, so why should basketball be hampered?

It is unfortunate that you see this happen so happen in college hoops.

Another thing that must change is the pace of the game. We need to get more points on the board, increase offensive efficiency. I would like to see the shot clock go from 35 seconds down to 30.

The move would improve the pace, resulting in more possessions and therefore more points. It would force teams to run their offense more quickly.

I know that there are some coaches out there that would like to see the rule over practice time changed. They believe that with more practice time, that game would be improved. I know that there is a mixed opinion on this one, and I do not believe it would have a major influence like the other two changes I have proposed here.

Increasing the number of fouls and shortening the time on the shot clock would be vital in making the game better.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.