Monday, February 13, 2006

The CourtMaster Rules on Rules

In my latest Duke Basketball Report column, I propose some significant rules changes for college basketball. I'm not saying the game is broken, but I do want to make a good thing better. My main target is taking more of the game away from the coaches and putting it back in the hands of the players. Yeah, like that will ever happen.

I also give my take on the "conspiracy theories" regarding Duke's perceived advantage in getting the calls during a game. I actually thought I held the middle ground on that issue rather well, but my friends who edit the DBR obviously disagreed.

Let me know which side of that debate you are on.


At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting suggestions for rule changes. I'd add one change at the end of the game -- and it's been proposed before -- to let a team that's being intentionally fouled choose whether to shoot the shots or take the ball out of bounds. This would discourage a lot of those late fouls that make the last two minutes of game time run for 30 minutes of clock time.

As for the Duke foul "controversy," I notice you're assuming that Duke does get "all the calls" and are merely trying to find some benign (non-conspiracy) explanation. I say the numbers don't support that there even is a "problem." In the Duke games against UNC and Maryland, if not for end-of-game intentional fouls by UNC and MD, Duke would have had half the free throws and twice the fouls. If Duke hadn't been in foul trouble and had to sit down McRoberts and/or Williams in those games it's unlikely UNC and MD would have come back; Duke would have probably won both games by 10-15 points. If you want to argue that the refs were being careful to call it more one-sided for Duke's opponents in these instances, then you're back to the conspiracy theory of the refs colluding to call the games one way or another.

Is there a foul-calling problem? Well, some people said so after Duke had 40 free throws against BC, but no one spoke up when BC turned around and had 50 FTs against Wake Forest.

Bottom line: some times one team gets more fouls called than its opponent, and there's usually a reason, which is generally different each game. There's no more a bias for great programs than there is a conspiracy at work, if you look at the actual numbers and watch the games.

At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ACC suspended the referees.

Once that happens it is no longer a "conspiracy". At that point, YOU become the conspiracy theorist when you deny what is now the mainstream thought.

At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there were a real conspiracy among refs and league officials to favor Duke, the refs wouldn't be suspended for making a call that benefits Duke, now would they? And as the interview with the ACC head of officiating (published widely yesterday) notes, it's not that unusual for refs to be suspended for not following correct procedures when assessing penalties.

Any bonehead idea or lie can become "mainstream thought" if it's talked up enough. Sort of like WMD in Iraq and Intelligent Design. Everyone "knew" there were such weapons in Iraq and many people believe evolution is not solid science, so there must be something to both, right?


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