The 2013-14 college basketball season is upon us. The NCAA has put new rules in place to try to improve the game. Surprisingly, they only had to ask me if they wanted to make the game better. But that ship has sailed and I couldn't stop the new hand check rule.
Still, if we’re going to do this, the least I can do is make a few suggestions, which I’m sure the NCAA wouldn’t dream of completely ignoring and possibly even consider banning me from attending all future events.
The following suggestions are free of charge, NCAA. Use as many or as few as you like. You’re welcome.
It’s about time. Let’s start with an easy one. Nobody likes when TV takes advantage of a timeout with 12:15 on the clock by going to commercial. You’re getting your media timeout at the next whistle. Stop making the game less watchable. It's the equivalent of football's terrible commercial-kickoff-commercial format.
No more jump ball. Hey, if the NCAA wants free throws (and it really seems like they do this year), let’s just alternate from the foul line and the first team to 70 wins. They’re calling everything now and despite the party line, I don’t see players completely eschewing all contact. These extended games with a thousand free throws aren’t going anywhere for a while. Might as well just turn them into free throw contests for real and save everyone’s ACLs. As an added bonus, it will eliminate the possession arrow, which is stupid and random.
Eliminate the circle. No, I don’t want to get rid of the only spot on the floor that should make it obvious whether a foul is a charge or a block. I’d just prefer a more stylish shape. A rhombus would be outstanding.
Bring back the short shorts. Hey, just because you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean the players are. If tiny shorts were good enough for Jerry Lucas, they’re good enough for you. Besides, Michigan made those damn baggy shorts popular and we can’t let Ann Arbor set the trends. The game needs more female fans anyway.
Add another arc. The four-point shot. It’s time. Sure, it'll be weird at first, but the three-point line was new once, too. Besides, Trey Burke and Jordan Taylor are gone. Embrace the change.
Ditch the sleeves. I mean, if we’re going back to short shorts, there is no place for those ugly sleeved jerseys we saw last year, especially with the pseudo-camouflage look.
Declining the penalty. Teams with lousy free throw shooters shouldn’t get penalized when the other team hacks them to extend the game. We’re just penalizing the wrong team here. Give the team that was fouled the choice of whether to take the freebies or to inbound the ball.
Power plays. Don’t like the above suggestion? No problem. A team leading in the closing minutes that gets fouled gets to put a sixth man on the court during the ensuing possession by the other team. You want back in the game? None of this rinky dink hacking stuff. Earn it like a MAN, bro.
Incentivize the offense. Give the school a financial bonus if it reaches certain point totals. Score a hundred points and the school’s athletic department can fix up the locker room! That ought to jump start the offense.
Consequences. There are few plays in basketball that are simultaneously as hilarious and as awful as a blown slam dunk. Missing a dunk should be a two-point penalty. Not only do you not get the basket, but two points come off the board. Dunks are for fun and aesthetic value. Screwing them up hurts everyone.
Replace Dick Vitale with Hodor. Seriously, you’re not going to get intelligent analysis from the cartoonish Dickie V. With the right inflection, Hodor from Game of Thrones can convey everything you need to know and without stepping on his broadcast partner. Bonus: he’s way less annoying and he represents the noble House Stark, even if he’s not a blood relative.
Technology. We won’t have TV Teddy Valentine or Ed Hightower to kick around forever. It’s time to make animatronic versions. It’s not like they could do a worse job of officiating, right? RIGHT?!
Ethnic food. Free fries are nice, but let’s face it, free tacos rule. And lower the number to make to 60, because free tacos shouldn’t require work, unless you’re playing Wisconsin.
More incentives. Miss four consecutive free throws, you’re out. Come on, man. If you can’t hit one out of four from the stripe, you’ve forfeited your right to play college basketball — at least for one night.
Chair of shame. If someone dunks in your face, you get to sit in the Chair of Shame by the scorer’s table for one minute. The coach can replace you on the floor, but you don’t get away with only a few seconds of feeling bad. Let’s milk it for a full minute of game time. Think of how many people would be trying to dunk to humiliate their opponents. Of course, as we learned above, if they miss, there will be consequences.
Well, those are my suggestions, NCAA overlords. Feel free to adopt as many as you like. Let's hear your ideas in the comments below.