Why can’t people just leave well enough alone?
It sounds like a simple concept, but it’s not.
That’s particularly true, unfortunately, in the ever-evolving and, sometimes, ever-devolving world of sports. The main problem? Authorities trying to justify their existence, not to mention their expense accounts.
That leads us to new rules proposed by the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee. Might as well start cringing.
The first new rule involves “flopping.” Any basketball fan — fishermen don’t count — knows the nuances of this term. When a player is driving to the basket and a defender establishes position — we’re using this term very loosely — the defender falls down at even the slightest hint of contact in hopes of drawing a charging foul.
Sometimes there is legitimate contact, sometimes there’s not. Nevertheless, the defender hits the deck as if the ballhandler were a rhino.
This is where the term “flopping” comes from. Sometimes if the ballhandler breathes too hard on a defender, the guy takes a dive. This is what the rules committee is trying to stop.
Good luck with that.
The committee wants the officiating crew to assess whether it was a legitimate charging foul or a flop. Oh good, another prime opportunity for refs to miss a call. Don’t we have enough of those already?
Apparently, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee doesn’t agree with me. It wants to assess the egregious “flopper” a technical foul. The opposing team would receive one foul shot.
Now here’s the catch. The “flopper” would get a technical foul, but wouldn’t be assessed a personal foul.
So it’s basically a slap on the wrist, which would merely add yet another stoppage in play for a game that already has way too many breaks in the action.
Talk about counter-productive.
If there’s going to be charging fouls, there’s going to be flopping. It’s simply the law of the basketball jungle.
Next rule? Some timeouts morphing into the so-called “media timeouts.” The mere term “media timeouts” annoys me. In 49 years of sports writing, I have never once called a timeout. Nor have I witnessed any of my media brethren call timeouts.
So let’s call it what it actually is. It’s a TV timeout, so sponsors can sell products. It has absolutely nothing to do with the media that is covering the game.
Just call it a commercial timeout and leave us media members out of it.
Thus far, the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee has been grasping at straws in hopes of justifying its existence. But those rather meaningless rule changes were a sashay in the park compared to the ignorance of the final proposal.
The committee wants to experiment with giving players six fouls, like in the NBA. This is another tip of the hat to businesses airing commercials during those so-called “media timeouts.”
They want the best players to be on the floor, so viewers will continue to watch. What they don’t want is players sitting on the bench with two fouls in the first half or four personals in the second, resulting in channel surfing by viewers.
So the committee wants to give players six fouls. But wait a minute. There is a caveat.
If a player picks up four fouls in the first half, he is done for the game. Or, if he commits no fouls in the first half, but four in the second half, he is done for the game.
What a crock. Just leave the college basketball game alone, OK?
It’s not broke, much like the committee members who are collecting their generous per diems.