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NCAA set to vote on key rule changes; shot clock likely to remain

By Jeff Goodman | College Basketball Insider

The NCAA men's basketball rules committee is meeting in Indianapolis, and a source told CBSSports.com the shot clock is not expected to be reduced.

"There's not a lot of momentum to change the shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds," the source said.

However, the source did say the following rules changes could be passed on Wednesday and Thursday as the committee votes, and the group will also collaborate with the NABC Board of Directors and the NCAA Division I Championship Committee:

-- The automatic flagrant fouls for the swinging of elbows will almost certainly be amended. The new rule will give referees a measure of discretion rather than it automatically being deemed a Flagrant 1 or Flagrant 2 foul depending on the nature of the elbow and whether excessive contact is made. Coaches would also be able to ask referees to go to the monitor to review flagrant-foul calls.

-- As is the case with the NBA, officials will be able to check replays at timeouts to determine whether a made shot is inside the arc or a 3-pointer. This would help the flow of the game. This would only apply in the first 36 minutes of the game.

-- Referees likely will be able to go the monitor in the last two minutes of the game for more than just flagrant calls, whether it's a 3-pointer or whether the clock had expired. They would also be able to go in the final minutes to determine possession after a difficult call to determine which player was the last to touch the ball.

-- The block/charge call could be slightly altered in an effort to help the offensive player. Under the existing rule, the secondary defender needs to be in legal guarding position before the player leaves the ground. The new interpretation would be that the defender needs to be set before the offensive player begins the upward motion of his shot. "We feel this would help referees and also reduce the number of charge calls," the source said.

-- Instead of a full 35-second shot clock following a foul in the frontcourt, it will likely be reduced to somewhere between 20 and 25 seconds in an effort to create a few more possessions each game.

-- To try to improve the game and make it more free-flowing, there will be emphasis on the current rules (on pages 109 and 110 of the rule book) regarding hand-checking and cutting. This was the case a couple of years ago when the NCAA emphasized cutting down rough play in the post. The issue here is consistency since refs work different leagues and there is no one governing body that has any legitimate power over all the officials. NCAA director of officiating John Adams truly only controls who works the NCAA tournament but has little to no juice over individual leagues.

I'm not sure if this issue has or will be discussed, but after covering more than 100 college games this season and then watching the NBA playoffs over the last few weeks, the NCAA needs to crack down on coaches who are constantly yapping at officials. Most NBA coaches aren't standing the entire game, and if they have to make a point to the officials, they make it and then sit back down. Many college coaches, largely because they are the face of the sport, talk incessantly to the referees. Hit these guys with technicals early in the game and in the season, and it'll change quickly. Trust me.

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