Former Arizona head coach and Hall of Famer Lute Olson has formally joined the group of coaches who have expressed their displeasure with the new rule changes this season in college basketball.
Hand-checking rules were changed this season to allow more player movement, which in return has increased scoring something that was down from a season ago. Although John Adams, the NCAA’s men’s basketball national officiating coordinator, told USA Today he believes the rules help the game become more graceful, Olson told Eric Prisbell that it hurts the rhythm of the games for teams.
“Frankly, I really don’t like it that much,” Olson said. “I think it takes teams out of their rhythm,” Olson told USA Today by phone. “It seems like there is a whistle stopping play so many times. I can understand if they are arm-barring a kid and keeping him from where he wants to go.
“I just hope we can get back to some common sense and let the kids play more and let the fans enjoy the game,” Olson later added. “For the kids, it has to be frustrating, you have your hands straight up in the air and if the offensive player jumps into you, 90 percent of the time I think it is going to be called a block. I don’t think it’s good for the game, frankly.”
A week ago, Tom Izzo, head coach of the nation’s top-ranked team, voiced his opinion on the rule changes following a win against Oklahoma in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic in Brooklyn.
It’s three days into the second month of the season and this ongoing battle between coaches — both current and former — and the rule changes is only heating up.