When asked about potential rule changes to the college basketball game in the middle of last season, Ohio State head coach Thad Matta was adamant about two subjects. First, he was an advocate of lowering the shot clock from 35 seconds to 30. And secondly, he wanted players to be given a sixth foul.
So it should come as no surprise Matta sang his approval of the latest proposed set of rules by the NCAA, which will go into effect if approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on June 8.
“I am in favor,” Matta said Tuesday on a podcast by Big Ten Network analyst Stephen Bardo.
There’s a handful of new rules proposed by the NCAA, and the two Matta had been pushing for all season were both on the list.
Matta told Bardo he has been an advocate of the 30-second shot clock since his very first year in the Big Ten way back in 2004. Now, as Matta prepares to enter his 12th year as head coach of the Buckeyes, he may finally get his wish.
“When I first got into this league 12 years ago, Bill (Carmody) at Northwestern and Bo (Ryan) was playing pretty slow at Wisconsin, and after the first year I was screaming to lower the shot clock,” Matta said. “I think the 30-second shot clock is going to be a good thing. It may take a little bit of getting used to at the beginning, but I think it’s going to speed the game up and I think people want to watch a faster-paced game so we’ll see how it goes.”
Matta’s other consistent point was adding an additional personal foul, giving players six for the game as opposed to the five they currently are allotted. The rationale behind this thinking is to allow for officials to crack down on the physicality of the college game. Referees can assess fouls more frequently — with the hopes players eventually realize what is and is not a foul — without impacting the outcome of the game as foul trouble becomes less likely.
The other thought, with the hope to improving the game, is adding a sixth foul keeps the best players on the court. And, as a result, better players on the floor will equal a higher quality product.
“There’s so much inconsistency now in terms of officiating. Everybody kind of calls it a different way, you watch different leagues play, which I’m perfectly fine with — that is what it is — but I wouldn’t mind six fouls,” Matta said on Bardo’s podcast. “A guy picks up his second foul in the first half, you don’t have to panic and get him out of the game and it lets players play.”
Matta had been an advocate of such rule changes for quite some time. Now, it appears, he may finally get his wish.