Officiating was a hot-button topic for much of the weekend, and that’s to be expected given the magnitude of the games. But one aspect of the game that’s been an issue for years has become even more popular this season.
The block/charge call.
With the rules committee putting a 3-foot arc around the basket area as a “no-charge” zone, the focus has shifted to where a player’s feet are located upon contact instead of whether or not they were in position to make the play.
But regardless of the rule changes Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo is not a fan of the charge, and he made his feelings known in a conversation with Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News last week.
“I’m sick of charges. I hate it. I don’t coach it anymore,” Izzo says. “We’re teaching kids to flop, running under guys. If we want better offense—the NBA gets a charge once a month; they don’t let the defender just slide under you.
This is interesting due to the fact that, as NCAA Officiating Coordinator John Adams points out in the piece, the 3-foot area was instituted in order to prevent such a thing from happening.
Regardless of where an arc is placed in the lane the biggest issue is getting the call right, something that’s frustrated participants and fans alike for much of the season.
And when officials have to focus not only on the action but also the location of the action, it should come as no surprise when the location trumps the action that took place.
It’s unlikely that the NCAA rules committee does away with the charge, but it’s safe to say that Izzo will continue to refuse to teach the art of taking charges to his players.