Saturday, September 4, 2004

Get Rid Of Arrow....Plus Graduation Rates

USA Today is having a list of things that they’d change in sports. One is the whole “paying the college athlete” take….which I’ve done and probably will touch on again at some point down the road. The one I’ll touch on here is their take on eliminating the possession arrow in college basketball.

Thank God.

This is one of the stupidest things in all of sports. It’s there….but no one can come up with a good explanation why it is there.

For those who don’t know….in NCAA hoops [and high school, most rec leagues] whenever there is a “jump ball”, instead of having a jump ball, there is a possession arrow that signifies who gets possession. So, team A gets it the first jump ball….and team B gets it the next time. Then, on and on and on. It is akin to if baseball adopted a rule that if a pitch is close…..well, once we’ll call it a strike and the next time we’ll call it a ball.

It is a blatantly moronic rule. What is the reward for the defense tying up the ball if the offense gets the ball back with a fresh shot clock?? Jump up the ball guys.

Another take they had in their article is tying NCAA coaches salaries to graduation rates. A great theory….but it would backfire. I mean, would that make the coaches make sure their players do better in math and sociology classes….or just take more “Golf 101” courses to meet requirements. They also had a take where a school cannot qualify for postseason with less than a 50% graduation rate….or a certain grade point average. Again, great theories….but that would only increase cheating in course study and the “dumbing” of curriculum.

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