Men’s basketball rules committee announces recommended rules changes

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To say the least the block/charge call and freedom of movement were two hot-button topics throughout the 2012-13 season. More often than not there were complaints from fans and media alike regarding the current state of the game, and what should be done to clean things up.

With that in mind both the men’s basketball rules committee announced their recommended rules changes on Thursday afternoon, with the block/charge call and the administration of the “elbow rule” being two areas of interest.

In regard to the block/charge call in men’s basketball, the committee is proposing that a defensive player is not permitted to move into the path of an offensive player once he has started his upward motion with the ball to attempt a field goal or pass. If the defensive player is not in legal guarding position by this time, it is a blocking foul.

The current rule calls for a defender to be in legal guarding position before the offensive player lifted off the floor.

Far too often last season it seemed as if where the defender was on the floor (inside or outside of the restricted area in the lane) was the sole determining factor used by officials when making the call.

According to the committee the recommended rules change will provide the officials with more clarity when it comes to making the call while also improving freedom of movement, which is exactly what all involved with the game want to see.

As for the “elbow rule,” the committee has recommended that officials be allowed to use their judgement when reviewing such situations on a monitor. Previously the rules didn’t give the officials much leeway, which ultimately led to the calling of flagrant fouls that were anything but.

“The intent of the elbow rule has always been to protect the student-athletes and eliminate the rip move in men’s basketball,” committee chair and Saint Peter’s head coach John Dunne said.

“There was a strong feeling in the men’s community that some other types of elbow contact didn’t deserve a flagrant 1, so we are allowing the limited use of the monitor to appropriately manage this play.”

Also of note is the fact that the committee is recommending that officials be allowed to check the monitor in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime to review situations such as shot clock violations and determining who knocked the ball out of bounds in situations involving two or more players.

Officials will also be able to immediately review made baskets in the final four minutes to determine whether  the shot was worth two or three points. During other points in the game officials would be able to signal to the scorers’ table that they will look at the play in question during the next media timeout.

Frankly any move to make sure the officials get the call right, whether it’s “crunch time” or not, is a good move. With the recommendations now made, the Playing Rules Oversight Panel will decide whether or not to approve the proposed rules changes on June 18.

And while there are no recommended changes in regards to the shot clock Thursday’s moves are a step in the right direction. Will the changes cut down on physical play and lead to an increase in scoring? That will ultimately be determined by the players and coaches themselves.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

NCAA rule change allows flexibility for coaches, more summer instruction

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Amid recent criticism about the overall power of the NCAA, a series of bylaw deregulations have benefitted coaches this spring, first allowing them to evaluate players on the amateur circuit, then to place unlimited phone calls to certain recruits, and now to work players out over the summer.

With these new rules in place, passed in January, players are able to take part in eight hours of staff-supervised workouts per week, with no more than two of those hours based on skill instruction. The other six hours per week can be used for strength and conditioning.

The NCAA caps the total length workout period at eight weeks, and players must be enrolled in summer classes to take part.

Coaches already seem to be enjoying the extra chance to work with players.

“I think that’ll be great for our guys,” Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin told the Chattanooga Times Free Press. “We’ll have a lot of time to be with our team, and I think it’ll really help us. I think for us as a staff, it’s a balance of not overworking guys, if there is such a thing.

“You have an opportunity to keep your guys on campus, because when they go away from you, especially those elite guys, then all of the sudden you have people coming through the doors and things can happen.”

Overall, it appears to be another step in the deregulatory direction for the NCAA, shifting power back into the hands of the people who run the program and are closest to players.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

NCAA rules change will allow unlimited calls to certain recruits, beginning June 15

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This spring, NCAA coaches enjoyed a major deregulation of recruiting bylaws, allowing them to head out to AAU events for an evaluation period.

On June 15, another major change is coming.

Beginning on that date, coaches will be able to make an unlimited—yes, unlimited—number of phone calls and text messages to prospects who have finished their sophomore year of high school.

Currently, coaches can place only one call per month to a prospect from June 15 after his sophomore year to July 31 after his junior year. Here is the messy part of the rulebook that is full of loopholes: though coaches are limited in how many times they can reach out, players may call coaches as often as they like.

Though players may now be inundated with phone calls and text messages, deregulation is the right move for the NCAA. With the more increased focus on transfer rates and the ability of players to get to know a program before committing and heading to school, the more communication, the better.

Trying to regulate something as small as phone calls and text messages seems like a useless endeavor. As players feel more comfortable with a certain coach and can interact with them more often, they can get a better grasp on which schools truly want them and which have categorized them as an “option” more than a “priority.”

These rollbacks in enforcement are welcome. They actually put more power in the hands of players and parents to make decisions about their futures.

Quite a novel idea.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_