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Saturday Roundtable - College Basketball Czar

What would you change?

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

If it’s Saturday it must be the roundtable where I ask the writers a question and then we can compare what they say.

Let’s pretend for a moment that you’ve been placed in charge of college basketball, you’re the new NCAA basketball czar. You immediately can make one rule change. What is it and why?

Jumbo Heroes:

I want consistent officiating from not just game to game and half to half but between all conferences. I’m tired of every year the NCAA talking about points of emphasis and the cylinder rule and what have you and then enforcing it for the first 3-4 weeks of the season before it all goes away. I want to create NCAA officials as a full time job. Pay them well. Put them in a training camp. Hold them accountable. Then, make them available to the media after the game. It’s absurd that these conferences and the NCAA, money printing machines more or less, don’t have a professional system of officials.

We can get this right and it’s a shame we leave it to guys flying across the country after a 9:00 PM finish to ref a noon game.

Oh, and I’d seriously consider giving everyone 6 fouls before fouling out instead of 5.


My first thought is to immediately require color-on-color uniform matchups in all games. Unfortunately, that could make it quite terrible for some of our color-blind friends and I shall be a reasonable czar. My first order of business is to fix officiating by making a unified referees group across all conferences that provides good enough wages (schools can afford it) so that it becomes a referees only job. Ultimately, the group will be large enough to discourage a ref to be at 6 games in a week’s span. Basketball takes a physical and mental toll on refs too and I think it can bring out a subpar product, so as czar, it shall be amended.


Never allow Courtney Greene to officiate a Purdue game again.


Let’s be honest, college basketball makes too much money to be having referees traveling across the country to be doing a game on the West Coast at 8pm and then a B1G game at noon the next day. This impacts the ability of good referees to be able to stay consistent & stretches them too thin. So what is my proposal? I would create a referee academy for college basketball referees at the major conference level.

The academy would allow referees to be paid a full time salary for each season and limit the number of games they do each week to 3. This academy is also a place where referees can be reviewed and given performance based scores. It would help young referees improve quickly and help senior officials stay sharp and continue to refine their skills. It would also allow for a more consistent style of game to be called across all of college basketball at the major conference level.

As a Purdue fan who watches a plethora of college basketball, the stark contrast between how an SEC/ACC/PAC 10 game is called versus a B1G is startling at times. It is time for more consistency in the college game and getting referees who are given a chance to improve within a structure provided by the NCAA would go a long way in improving the game. And, if we are being honest again, would help benefit Purdue if they were given a better chance to be even more efficient on offense.


It’s small, but it drives me insane. If a coach steps onto the court during live play, it’s an automatic tech. I’m tired of seeing coaches chase refs or position themselves as a 6th defender. If you’re not playing, stay off the court....and stay off my lawn.


This is a very polarizing opinion, but if I’m the dictator of college basketball, I’m further lowering the shot clock to 24 seconds. Sure, 99% of these kids will never play an NBA game and so they generally process their surroundings slower than would the upper echelon of talent, but forcing a faster rate of play puts more emphasis on clean passing and having more of an offensive plan in place.

I was thankful when it dropped from 35 seconds to 30 in the 2015-16 season because I would see so much aimless dribbling followed by poor shot selection. No sense of urgency can be frustrating to watch at times. I’m too young to have seen it first hand, but I can’t imagine how slowly things had the potential to play out back when it was a 45-second shot clock prior to the 1993-94 season. I think thirty is a happy medium, but I really want to see how a 24-second shot clock would change offensive philosophy as a whole in college hoops.