The game of basketball as we all know was invented by Dr. James Naismith. He for years thought it would enhance physical education in all schools. (With all the school cutbacks, wonder what he is thinking today about physical education)?
I have a pretty strong feeling he never intended to take the EDUCATION part out of basketball. Let's call it like it is, the college game is becoming way too rough and it is at times ruining the ability of talented players to do their thing and move freely both with the ball and without it.
We all agree that no basketball game should a parade to the foul line. Heaven forbid, if you follow my blog on a daily basis the last thing we want during regulation play is a bunch of inept free throw shooters as in the case in today's game, going to the line, with the exception of the second overtime, as I have proposed. Heck we have enough goofy fans yelling at every game, "hey ref, let em play".
What we do need is some enforcement from game referees on calling the game the way it is suppose to be called and was intended to be called. Rough play has no part in the game of basketball. I do not buy the argument that the game has had a natural gravitation towards rougher play because the players are bigger and stronger. That to me is the ultimate cop-out.
I also will always defend referees for the most part as they do a pretty good job night in and night out, in what is the toughest game in my opinion to officiate. What I can't defend is the fact that there is a lack of consistency in the way games are called and more importantly in talking to many basketball referees there is a lack of referees being trained properly, in the college game today. Many college referees today are begging for more training and it is often ignored by respective conferences , for what reason, it is really hard to figure out.
Once again if you read this blog daily or for the first time readers, I like to offer solutions.
1. All teams not only play a large amount of pre-season games, but they also have before play even begins, many scrimmages. Simple message from officials working these games, we are going to clean up rough play and this time, WE MEAN IT.
2. Referees throughout the year should have plays sent to them that shows the difference between rough play and what is great defense or good rebounding position. Repeating, constant training of officials is lacking in the college game today and if an official is resistant to change, he needs his schedule cut back until he can conform to what he is being told to do.
3. I love basketball coaches, they have such a positive influence on shaping the lives of young people today, it is a story that is never told enough. Basketball coaches do have too much influence on officiating, they get too involved in how the game is called and they are too involved in who calls their games. Let the process of who is a good official and who is not, be left up to experts, i.e. evaluators, trainers, supervisors. Coaches should coach and referees should referee, plain and simple.
This year, for all its many faults, the NBA did a great job on cracking down early on players complaining about calls. Although at times the policy became a little too inconsistent and as the season wore on a little more lax in how referees handled complaining, it for the most part worked and it among many fans made the games much more enjoyable not seeing the constant bickering.
College basketball, it is ok to copy what works. Start enforcing rough play from the get-go of the season's opening tip-off and do not back down, until players and coaches learn that your serious about cleaning up rough play. Making it a point of emphasis, does not cut it anymore in basketball. Points of emphasis only work if they are carried out, not as they are at present, listened too and then disregarded and laughed at by many.
Every year I hear about how we are going to clean up the rough play in college basketball and every year once the season begins it becomes an after thought. NCAA and its conferences, put some teeth in curbing rough play. It is time that everyone comes to the party and the college game will be much better for it. Rough play will soon ruin college basketball, but it is never too late do something about it. It takes training and guts to enforce rules.
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