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If you could change one NCAA Basketball or Football rule, what would it be?

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Welcome to TCR’s discussion thread for the week of June 19.

Illinois v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Welcome to TCR’s second discussion thread! As mentioned in a previous blog post, we’re making an effort to provide you with community-centered content moving forward. These spaces will be pinned below our front page for a week at a time, and they’ll act as a place for general conversations related to Illinois Athletics.

See an interesting tweet during the week? Embed it into the comments section and we’ll discuss it some more — someone may even write another full post on it.


Monday, June 19

If you could change or add a single rule for NCAA basketball or football, what would it be? Here are a few of our staff picks. Make sure to post your own in the comments this morning and afternoon!

Vainisi: Ultimately, I want college basketball to mirror the NBA format so there’s quite a few ways to go. If I had to choose just one, though, I’d add continuation to the rulebook. More highlight plays. More points. More fun. Even better? It’d help out the officials, as this blog post points out.

College officials have a hard enough time, adding the continuation rule would mean they have one less thing on their plates. Its simple, “if a player is fouled in the act of shooting and makes the shot, the shot counts as long as the shooter completes the shot using a continuous motion begun before the foul.” Boom, done. No more trying to figure out if was on the ground or in the [act of shooting].

The college game also needs to make the transition to quarters. But that seems inevitable given recent progression in the women’s game and trial rules for the NIT.

Jabs: If I could alter a set of rules for basketball, it’d deal with fouling in late game situations. Intentional fouls carry a different penalty in ‘regular’ situations (i.e. 2 free throws and possession). Well, when you’re down late and fouling on purpose, that’s intentional. I don’t want to see a team shooting free throws over and over and over to decide a game, so in my world, these fouls would be called as such. To counteract the expected decrease in possession changes, the shot clock would drop to 24 seconds during the final two minutes of all games.

Jabs (Bonus Entry): Just like in baseball, coaches have to wear the same uniform as the players. I think seeing Fran McCaffery hanging out on the bench in shorts and a jersey would make me laugh harder than it should. I bet he would rock a shooting sleeve, too.

Braun: For football, absolutely anything can be reviewed, but it can only be initiated by a coach's challenge. You get 2 or 3 challenges a game but you don't lose them if they overturn the call. In other words, lose 2 challenges in a game and you can't challenge anymore. No more booth reviews. If the affected team thinks the officials messed up, use a challenge. Otherwise, we don't need to get everything right. But you can't just spam challenges for every questionable call.

Birkhead: The rule change I would like to see is transfers being immediately eligible to play at whatever school they choose to go without needing to sit out an academic year. I would also stop allowing coaches and universities from blocking student-athletes from going to their school of choice by not granting them releases from their national letters of intent. It’s awful that the NCAA allows these rules to stand when coaches and athletic directors can leave schools at any time without repercussions. It’s time that student-athletes be given the power to choose where they play and where they go to school without interference.

Silich (Added 6/19, 12:00 pm): All of you have great ideas — I’m so proud of us. For my rule change, I’ll focus on college basketball. While there are plenty of changes I’d make to the game (I much prefer the NBA style), I’ll go with an unorthodox one that should be implemented in both college and the NBA: Basketball should have an advantage rule on transition fouls. The most exciting moments in basketball often occur when a player gets a steal and races up the court flanked by two or three teammates, with just one defender to beat. Too often, a different defender (often the one who just gave up the steal) will just bear hug one of the four fast breakers with a foul behind the play and stop the break before it reaches its epic conclusion. This happens at all levels of basketball, and it is dumb. Soccer built in advantage play to account for aggressive fouls stopping the flow of play when a defending team is in a disadvantageous position. Basketball should do the same: If a non-shooting foul occurs when there’s a clear fast break advantage for one team, that team should be allowed to continue the play until it ends (hopefully in spectacular fashion).