Illini Basketball

Peeking behind the NCAA Rule Changes curtain

As we waited for Brad Underwood to join yesterday’s Zoom, Loren Tate cheerfully struck up some conversational topics. Rob, what do you think of the proposed rule changes? is a reasonable paraphrasing of his first foray.

I assured him that I don’t know anything about basketball, which should be obvious to anyone.

But why don’t I know? And how did he?

This column is about those rule changes, but also about access to information. Google tells me that Matt Norlander is the source for the hard data. A radio newsy from Kentucky SEO’ed the details, which I’ve pasted below. So thank you Mrs. Tyler Thompson.

Your Faithful Servant was approved for a credential/access to last month’s NCAA Tournament Digital Media Hub. The NCAA has my email address. Why did I learn about this stuff from Loren Tate? (I’ve learned most things about Illini sports from Loren Tate, and am not unappreciative.)

A couple of Zooms ago, Shannon Ryan told us that she’d been voted the new poobah (or was it honcho, or vizier?) of a national basketball writers association, succeeding Seth Davis. The ever-genial Scott Beatty observed that he wasn’t invited to vote, despite being a member. Perhaps I wasn’t the only one who thought “how does one become a member, and who decides?”

The News-Gazette tells us, year after year, that it’s won sports section of the year or newspaper of the year or similar. Who voted?

Google helped, again, with the former question. The latter seems too boring to research, but is probably found exclusively on fishwrap.

The writers association is open to anyone who pays them $50. (Don’t worry about the “members of the media” qualifier. We’re all members of the media.) I’m always reminded, in these moments, of my Lifetime Membership in the International Thespian Society. It was $10 for a year’s membership, and $15 for lifetime. Brilliant.

Maybe $50 is the cost of doing business these days? Perhaps, if I joined the USBWA, I’d get emails about important goings-on in the NCAA. Or perhaps I could spend all day reading Tweets from the 650 people Joey follows, the 1,960 Jeremy follows. or the 3,388 Shannon follows?

My feeling remains that if it’s on Twitter, you already know it. So why do you need to hear it from me? I envy traditional print reporters in this respect. Their foundational assumption is that newspaper is your only source for information. If they don’t transcribe & publish, you’ll never find out.

Also yesterday, I got an email about The Basketball Tournament from a Bradley Braves staffer named Bobby Parker. I’ve never met Bobby, and I don’t know who compiled a list of active addresses for him. Did it feel like the Glengarry Leads when he got it? Did it feel like the Glengarry Leads when you saw a Tweet about TBT yesterday?

Enough Illini basketball fans care about TBT and the House of ‘Paign that it seemed worthy of a Tweet.

Anyway, here’s the pasted list of changes being discussed for Men’s Basketball.

2020-21 Possible Rule Changes (via @MattNorlander)

— Widen the lane to 16 feet

— Reset team fouls at the 10:00 minute mark of each half and begin double bonus on the 5th team foul of each 10-minute segment. This would eliminate the one-and-one free throw.

— Allow laptops, tablets, or similar devices in the bench area for coaching purposes.

— Adopt a modified six-foul rule with the following provisions:

  • 1. A player may not commit more than three personal/technical fouls in any one half. Penalty – disqualification.
  • 2. A player may commit three personal/technical fouls in the first half and three in the second half. In this case, the player is allowed six fouls before being disqualified.
  • 3. A player may commit two personal/technical fouls in the first half and would be disqualified on his fourth personal/technical in the second half. Total – six fouls.
  • 4. A player may commit zero or one personal/technical fouls in the first half and would be disqualified on the player’s fourth personal/technical in the second half. See #1.

— Award possession of the ball to the defense when they create a held ball situation.

— Limit the number of timeouts that may be called by any one team in the last two minutes of the second period or of any overtime period to two.

— In the last two minutes of the second period or of any overtime period, allow instant replay review of potential shot-clock violations when the shot is unsuccessful.

— Eliminate the ten-second backcourt rule.

— Permit the use of Instant Replay on all basket interference/goaltending calls throughout the game, but only when a call has been made by an official.

— Permit a team to decline free throws in the last two minutes of the last period or of any overtime period and elect possession of the ball for a throw-in instead.

— Eliminate offensive basket interference after the ball hits the ring or flange. Would make the rule consistent with the FIBA rule.

— Adjust the traveling rule to allow a player to take two steps after lifting his pivot foot which would make moves such as the spin move, Euro-step and step-back shot legal.

— Eliminate the five second closely guarded rule.