Jim Boeheim’s Reaction Illustrates Why The Charge/Block Rule Is Terrible

Jim Boeheim, Syracuse Orange

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

What is a charge and what is block? Do you know the answer, because I certainly don’t.

Syracuse‘s Jim Boeheim was ejected after seemingly losing his mind when a charge was called on the Cuse’s C.J. Fair with just under 11 seconds remaining in Saturday night’s game against Duke. At the time of the call, the Blue Devils lead by only two, 60-58. But after Boeheim was issued a double technical, the Duke lead ballooned to six.

At first glance, it appeared as if Duke’s Rodney Hood was not in a set position when Fair attacked the basket and connected on his shot. Thus, a block appeared to be the correct call. The play would have tied the game and Fair would have had the chance to give the Orange the lead. Instead, the officials thought it was a charge and the rest is history.

I’ve never seen Boeheim more irate and furious. The 69-year-old, Hall of Fame coach completely lost it. And you know what? Good for him. ESPNs Jay Bilas was quick to point out that whether or not the call was the right one, Boeheim’s reaction cost his team a chance to win the game. Yes it absolutely did, but in the heat of that moment, if you’re an official, how do you make that call? And more importantly, it’s a darn shame that such a great game will be remembered by such a horrific rule.

The charge/block rule is the worst in all of sports. The uncertainty that comes with it is pathetic. Coaches, players and fans can’t tell the difference. And of greater significance, referees can’t either. I’m not saying tonight’s call was the correct nor incorrect call–That’s because honestly, I don’t know.

What looked to be a terrific play by Fair gets overturned and essentially ruined by what in my opinion, is not good defense. Was he or wasn’t he set? That’ll be the dumb question that people watching the game film will analyze. If an offensive player makes a play, they should be rewarded instead of the guy who just stands there waiting for the offensive player to barrel into him.

Jim Boeheim’s reaction was absolutely warranted. The charge/block rule is joke and the definition of it seems to change on a daily basis. Until the rule’s meaning and enforcement can be consistent across the board, it will continue to drag down the great game of basketball.

Matthew Sturgeon is a College Basketball Writer for RantSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @OfficialSturg27

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  • Sports Warp

    Just because Boeheim didn’t agree with the call doesn’t make the call correct. There are worse examples of officiating and the lack of containment is ultimately what led to the game’s conclusion. We wrote more at: http://sportswarp.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/syracuse-coach-jim-boeheims-reaction-costly-unwarranted/

  • Byrne

    Bad call. Worse reaction. Game over.

    • Matthew Sturgeon

      Agree that his reaction absolutely ended the game. And yes, it was a bad call too. Point is though, the rule in general is just so misunderstood and not enforced consistently by officials…that’s the shame of the whole thing.