New rules in college basketball will be interesting to watch
Or, more accurately, it loosened things up for teams on offense. Tactics like hand-checking, arm bars and jabbing will be called fouls. It will be also tougher to take a charge.
This has caused some hand-wringing over the possibility of 2 1/2-hour games with 80 free throws and the best players watching from the bench after getting into foul trouble.
The first month of the season will make for some interesting box scores while coaches, players and referees adjust to the calls and each other. But will it end up being that bad?
ESPN's Jay Bilas has a simple solution.
"Yeah, stop fouling," Bilas said during a conference call. "I mean, these are fouls. And they've always been fouls, they haven't been called. I'm telling you, look back at tape from the '80s. And it won't be hard to find. Look at tape that ‑‑ everybody harkens back to the '80s as the heyday of college basketball. Everything that is now being done that coaches are complaining that you can't do was a foul in the '80s."
What this could come down to is, will referees enforce the rules as they're stated, or will they back off as the season goes on and coaches complain?
"It's been a long time coming," Bilas added. "... Finally we've had some movement where we can get ‑‑ we can stop the organized fouling, and that's what it is. Coaches ‑‑ many coaches have been admitting this. They've been teaching fouling as strategy simply because the referees will not call it. And now it's all these things have been in the rule book, but now they're codified as rules. They were in the back of the rule book in the interpretation section. Now they're actually in the rules. So the referees have no excuse. They have to call these fouls. They've been fouls forever, and they need to call them."
- Howard Primer