CRAWFORD | Motion Monday: Play college hoops in quarters, support Bob White
WDRB's Eric Crawford starts the week with a few thoughts that might make sports better (or not).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Do you ever read the Congressional Record? I know, that’s a heavy question to start a Monday morning.
I like to look at the Congressional Record from time to time (you can find it online) because it’s a good reminder that while we live in utterly divided times, there’s quite a bit that actually gets through congress with bipartisan support. You don’t ever read about it or see it on television. Fights are better theater.
At any rate, you can read the debates, the motions, the votes, whatever is done in the House and Senate, you see it right there, minus any kind of media filter.
I bring it up because there comes a time for motions to be made. For me, it seems like Monday morning might be a good time for that. We all have ideas on how sports could be better – or the world, for that matter. We all think we have a view on little tweaks that might be made. This is my space to make a few motions to start the week off right.
Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts.
1). MOTION: That the NCAA reconsider a rules committee's recent rejection of a switch to quarters for men’s basketball.
Discussion: The bias of the NCAA rules committee seems to be toward the status quo. There are “points of emphasis” for officials, but few changes. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. You can’t change the rules every year. They are what they are. Changing them should require serious discussion and consideration. And there have been some changes for the better -- the shot clock, the three-point shot.
Still, there was no provision in the college game for stopping it every four minutes for a television timeout. So, clearly, change with the game's basic structure is allowed. And in this -- playing games in 20-minute halves -- college basketball stands alone. The NBA plays the game in four quarters. FIBA uses quarters, as do NCAA women, and high schools.
The main benefit of going to quarters is that the clock on shooting the bonus is reset after 10 minutes of play. One of the major changes is that it gives coaches another late-clock situation to deal with in each half.
But the breaking of games into quarters at least provides a more natural stopping point for commercials. A rules committee panel last week did not recommend adoption of quarters for men’s college basketball. So the system will remain the same for at least one more season.
That same panel also encouraged leagues to experiment with moving the three point line back and widening the lane, and now will allow officials to review some charge/block calls in late-game situations with replay. That should shorten things up. (Insert sarcasm here.) Oh, and the committee voted to widen the coaches box from 28 feet to 38. As if any coach stays in that box.
2). MOTION: That MLB more seriously consider the practice of beginning extra innings with a runner at second base.
Discussion: The purists are going to howl. But the purists don’t have to play a game at noon after an extra-inning marathon the night before. Baseball has a 162-game regular season. Players and managers shouldn’t have to go on all night.
MLB has been testing this rule in the low minors. I don’t expect we’ll ever see it brought up to the big leagues. But it might well get consideration from the players’ union and others.
The Reds’ recent road trip to San Francisco is a case in point. Cincinnati flew to California last Wednesday, and beat the Giants 3-2 in the series opener, then a night later lost an extra-inning game that began at 10:15 Eastern and ended at about 3:45 a.m. Twelve hours later, they started Game 3 of the series, and wound up losing 3-2.
Now, yes, that’s just baseball. And, yes, the Reds lost the last three games of that series. But I can’t help but think that playing 17 innings after traveling across the country played a part in dooming the Reds.
When Reds manager Bryan Price and general manager Dick Williams were here before the season, neither slammed the door on it when the subject came up, though neither one felt completely comfortable with the idea. The rule already is being experimented with in the low minors
Of course, both also know, as I do, that this will never happen in the big leagues.
3). MOTION: That folks show appreciation for longtime Courier-Journal high school reporter Bob White via his fundraiser tonight at Bellarmine’s Frazier Hall.
Discussion: White lost almost everything to identity theft. Now, some of his friends have put together a fundraiser to help him with living expenses and just getting by. White, the longtime preps reporter for The Courier-Journal, is a KHSAA Hall of Famer who is a walking, talking piece of sports history in the state of Kentucky.
Those attending the reception from 5 to 8 p.m. are asked to give a $20 donation, or larger. If you can’t go, you may send a donation to The Bob White Fund, in care of Eugene “Judge” Mosley, 214 Breckenridge Lane, Suite 214, Louisville, Ky., 40207.
For more than 50 years, Bob has written the stories that don’t always grab the front pages – the football players, basketball, track, you name it, Bob has covered it all. He has helped many young people and coaches from around the city and state.
It’d be nice if as many of us who can could help him a little in return.
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