Lack of Rule Changes Hurt Programs Like the Ohio State Buckeyes

By Joseph Nardone
Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Rules Committee met to try to fix the game of college hoops and left without doing anything in the way of making the game more entertaining for fans. Why the NCAA’s inability to be proactive no longer comes as a shock to anyone, their continued lack of foresight will continue to have a negative impact on basketball programs who do a good job, you know, building a basketball program.

Things like the shot-clock are going unchanged. This is being done to keep the playing field even (a term the NCAA uses to the point of nausea to justify their reasons as to why they don’t fix the rules which slow the game down the most). Which in the simplest terms sounds like a swell idea, but when did the NCAA ever actually care about level playing fields? I mean, the BCS was not exactly open to all schools nor is universities prohibited from using a certain amount of money (like a cap) to prevent bigger programs from trampling smaller ones with cash.

With physical play, the longest shot-clock in basketball and the continuous lack to be proactive seemingly never ending, programs like the Ohio State Buckeyes are going to be punished for being good at what they do.

Recruit a great athlete? Awesome! Sure, we altered the block/charge call a little bit, but it is still something that is wildly subjective–meaning, we are going to limit his ability to jump over defenders by calling (iffy) charges, so the playing field is even. You want to push the ball, but the other team wants to dribble at the top of the key for 28 seconds? Too bad, deal with it and move on. Oh, and by the way, we are going to continue to allow players to basically wrestle each other up and down the court–you know, for an even playing field.

I am not saying that the NCAA shouldn’t try to regulate keeping smaller schools more competitive with the bigger ones, but they need to stop doing so when it is hurting the quality of the games. College basketball is a business — the NCAA treats it as such at least — so if they are not going to try to help make the game more entertaining, then what exactly are they doing?

College basketball is not a game broken beyond repair. It can survive in the capacity it is played in now, but it can be so much better.

The NCAA does everything off the court to ensure “big” programs get a lot of the benefits that come with being a named program, although on the court they do everything they can do make the game “be played on an even playing field.” Which is so contradictory to everything they do off it, that now my head hurts.

This whole “even playing field” talk mind-boggles me to begin with. Since when does something competitive like a sport have to be played on an even playing field? Does the NCAA plan on handing out national championships to every team who participates like they do in Little League next? Or — more than likely — is the even playing field argument just an excuse so they don’t have to change the way they operate?

I don’t know if the NCAA doesn’t know how to fix the game or they are too stubborn to attempt it, but not fixing something because it hasn’t dropped (your already relatively low) ratings is silly. I bet if Nielsen numbers dropped next year things would change much more quicker.

If the NCAA really cared, all they would have to do is get the best coaches in the country and the smartest basketball minds in the world together and lock the door for a few hours. By the end of the day — and a few cocktails later — the world of college basketball would be changed for the better. Alas, the NCAA would never allow for something so logical to ever happen.

The NCAA: Whose fear of being proactive is only surpassed by its love of self-indulgence, ego and rare ability to not give a rat’s…


Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone


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