Mar 24, 2022; Chicago, IL, USA; Iowa State Head Coach T.J. Otzelberger watches his team warm up before practice at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
The NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee has seen enough of the flop warning.
That fact was made clear on Thursday when it was announced the group will propose a removal of the flop warning, to instead issuing a Class B technical foul for a flop call, to the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel next month, starting with the 2022-23 college basketball season.
If a player is called for flopping, the opposing team will be granted one free throw.
The NCAA rulebook currently defines a flop as: “Faking being fouled (flopping) on block/charge plays, on attempted tries on field-goal attempts or using any other tactics such as a “head bob,” which might incorrectly lead an official to believe that a foul has been committed.”
Decision-makers in the sport have long been trying to clean up “flopping” with little to no positive results. Flop warnings were infrequently called, and are a judgment call with considerable wiggle room within the way the rule is written, causing inconsistency in how the rule is enforced.
Now, instead of receiving a warning for whatever a flop has been deemed to be on a given night, the opposing team will get free throws.
“We didn’t feel like we were getting the results that we wanted with the warnings,” said Bob Huggins, committee chair and head coach at West Virginia, in an NCAA release. “Our goal is to continue to try to get flopping out of the game. The committee believes giving the officials the ability to call a Class B technical foul the first time they see a player faking being fouled, it will be more of a deterrent.”
Whether or not it will actually be a deterrent will only be seen once it is being enforced in games by college basketball officials. This writer is doubtful it will have the intended result considering the struggles of enforcing the original rule.
An extra media timeout
The group will also propose giving conferences the option to experiment with an extra media timeout in each half of college basketball games.
Rather than the current standard breaks at under-16-minute, 12-minute, eight-minute and four-minute intervals, it would be broken into 17-minute, 14-minute, 11-minute, eight-minute and five-minute stretches.
The group’s stated rationale “is to help the flow of the game so commercial breaks will not be taken when teams use their allotted timeouts.”
Again, I’m not sure the rules committee will get its desired result, especially when you consider the wide-acclaim for the quarters system used by women’s college basketball.
I say with the heaviest dose of sarcasm imaginable — everyone who watches college basketball knows the one thing we can all agree on is there are never enough breaks in the action.