Tom Izzo Speaks For Many of Us With Frustrations Over Officiating

By Andrew Fisher
Tom Izzo
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If you’ve watched college basketball for more than 20 minutes this season, you’ve probably noticed that things are being called a little tighter than in year’s past. This is of course because of the new hand-check rules put into effect for this season. Long story short — defenders are now barely able to put their hands on offensive players.

The rule change has led to many extended games and even more frustrated fans and coaches. One coach who hasn’t been afraid to share his opinion on the new rules is Michigan State‘s head man, Tom Izzo.

Here’s what the long-time head coach had to say after MSU lost to Ohio State on Sunday, where he had 22 foul calls against his team, compared to 12 against OSU:

“I got my team back but I didn’t really get my team back because none of them were out there playing. I didn’t like the way my guys were on the bench, I didn’t like the way we were playing, afraid to foul, afraid to move. I’m tired of people telling me how to…”

Izzo trailed off at the end of that statement, purely out of frustration.

Way back in November, he expressed doubts about the new hand-check rules. He even proposed that if the game was going to be called tighter, that the NCAA needed to add an additional foul.

At first I was very skeptical about adding a sixth foul to college basketball, but after watching the ‘new way’ the game has been called for a few months, I’m beginning to agree with Izzo.

But how about this? How about we just go back to the way the game was. What was wrong with the ‘old’ game?

On top all of all the ticky-tack calls that have been slowing games down and altering team strategies all year, something has to be done about the time spent on replay. While the objective behind a review is great (getting the call right), the time spent on reviewing is to the detriment of the game and the viewer’s experience.

Is it time we add another official to the game? Perhaps an official that’s always by the replay monitor?

I don’t know all the answers, but it’s clear that more changes are needed. It’s cliche, but in this case it’s appropriate — we need to let them play basketball. That’s all the people want — free-flowing, fun to watch basketball. Somehow, the college game is getting away from that.


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