If I ruled -- rules edition
Our writers take turns changing college basketball; today, we change the rules
So, there are a bunch of things that I don't really like about college basketball's current rules. And here's my issue with the rules: There are too many of them. Too convoluted and unclear. It doesn' have to be this complicated.
We tweaked the block-charge rule. But I'm not convinced it'll make it that much easier to make the ruling. Soon, we'll have wider lanes and less time on the shot clock.
Well, if I were in charge, I'd make a lot of swift changes that would make college basketball better for everyone involved.
1. COACHES CAN EJECT REFS
I think officials have too much power right now with regard to technical fouls. I witnessed Fred Hoiberg pick up a technical foul for simply walking toward his team during a timeout last season. And I have a solution. Coaches can give officials technical fouls. Two technical fouls and you're done. We'll go with a two-man crew the rest of the way. The catch? Both coaches must agree on the technical call and you can only boot one ref per game. But I think this would really make the game more interesting and help to keep the refs in line.
2. THROW THE FLAG, JUST NOT AT PLAYERS
Instant replay is still a flawed and incomplete process in college basketball. And I understand all the arguments against an all-encompassing instant replay system that would lead to frequent stoppages and interruptions in a game that can already take too long. But there has to be some middle ground. So I'm implementing a white flag system, comparable to the NFL's red flag system. Coaches can throw one of their three white flags at any point in the game. And they can dispute any call. Every play is reviewable. Lose the challenge? The penalty is a team foul. Forget the particulars, however, and imagine the theater. Can't you see Bob Huggins winding up and tossing one of those flags the length of the court in protest of some bogus block-charge call? Can't you just see Rick Pitino tossing his flag ... at Montrezl Harrell? OK, that last one can't happen. Coaches, these flags are for challenging bad calls, not players.
3. PERMANENT 35-SECOND SHOT CLOCK
My rules, right? Well, let's end all the chatter about a 35-second shot clock and let's make this thing eternal. The 35 second clock will remain ... forever. I get the arguments for less time. Speed kills. But there's no evidence that a shorter shot clock will create better basketball. And I think it would also minimize some of the offensive diversity we have in the sport. You can't run with Kentucky. But perhaps you can slow the game down and wear the Wildcats out in a low-possession matchup that chomps on every second that the shot clock allows. If the goal is to win the game, we shouldn't place any limits on teams by decreasing the shot clock.
4. 3s BECOME 4s IN THE FINAL TWO MINUTES OF GAMES
Just imagine the announcer screaming: "Two minutes to play!!!! ... Four points, four points from beyond the arc!!" I think this rule would give us more action in the final minutes and it would increase the possibility of a late comeback. Can't you just see all the kids holding up four fingers after a big shot? Drama, man. We love drama, right?
5. "SAVE" A PLAYER FROM FOULING OUT
Coaches hate to lose a good player to a fifth foul, especially if that player is a star. In that five-overtime matchup between Louisville and Notre Dame a few years ago, the Fighting Irish almost had to use Rudy. Well, with my rules, a coach can save any player who picks up that fifth foul. But they only get one save per game. I just like the idea of a crowd singing "Hit the road jack and don't you come back no ..." and then Fran McCaffery walks onto the floor and announces "I will save him!" like something from "The Hunger Games." I really hope it would resemble something from "The Hunger Games."