Rule changes coaches want to see

South Carolina's Frank Martin believes the court should be widened to better suit today's game. Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Just about everyone has complaints and wants changes, whether it’s at the workplace or even at home. My 10-year-old daughter wants her bedtime altered, and I’d like her to give me a quarter for every time she doesn’t listen to me.

It’s all about rules. We love some and despise others.

In college basketball, there are plenty of rules that coaches would prefer to be changed. We spoke with some of the nation’s best to get their thoughts. If they could change one rule, what would it be? There were a few answers and one clear winner, which I've saved for last.

Backcourt rule

A team must advance the ball to the frontcourt within 10 seconds of a player touching the ball in the backcourt. Many teams call a timeout, and the clock is then reset

Tad Boyle (Colorado Buffaloes): “Ten seconds in the backcourt with the ball should be continued after a timeout instead of being reset.”

Frontcourt foul

If there is a foul, the shot clock is immediately reset to 35 seconds)

Bill Self (Kansas Jayhawks): “Foul in the frontcourt not reset to 35, only about to 20. I’d also like to see the block-charge made easier to call.”


This is an area of concern at every level of basketball, especially with last year’s rule change in college basketball limiting the amount of hand checking on the perimeter, thus making it easy to draw fouls by flopping as the offensive player.

Kevin Stallings (Vanderbilt Commodores): “Intentional attempts at flopping should be assessed with an unsportsmanlike conduct technical foul. That includes the dribbler who throws his head and shoulders back to bait them for a call.”

Tim Miles (Nebraska Cornhuskers): Flopping -- on both offense and defense.”

Bruce Weber (Kansas State Wildcats): “Put the jump ball back in the game. Reward defense for effort to create jump ball situation. Also, the new foul rule allows the offensive player to put his head down, get out of control and run over defense and receive a foul call.”

Tony Bennett (Virginia Cavaliers): “The flagrant foul of elbow above the shoulders.”

Post play

Perimeter play was altered last season, but some coaches want post play to be cleaned up

Scott Drew (Baylor Bears): “They adjusted how they called the perimeter last year. Now they need to address it in the post.”

Freedom of movement

Sean Miller (Arizona Wildcats): “When an offensive player pivots and swings the ball high to create space from the defender, it should not be an offensive foul. He has to have the ability to create space for freedom of movement. The way the rule is now, even if there is no contact, they can call a flagrant 1. I also feel that going to a 30-second shot clock would help the quality of the play.”

Advance the ball to half court in final two minutes

The ball is now taken out under the basket after a timeout. In the NBA, the ball is advanced to midcourt. ESPN colleague Seth Greenberg feels as though this would allow for more special situations, make time and score far more relevant and create for more exciting finishes.

Fred Hoiberg (Iowa State Cyclones): “Advance the ball after a timeout in the last two minutes.”

Charge circle

The NCAA voted on a 3-foot wide charge circle in college basketball in 2011, but it’s still closer to the basket than the NBA circle

John Groce (Illinois Fighting Illini): “I would probably say NBA charge circle instead of current college version. I played with it last year against Oregon, and I thought it promoted fewer collisions at the rim. I liked it farther out.”

Charge call

Last season, the NCAA amended its block/charge call to where a defensive player is not permitted to move into the path of an offensive player once he has begun his upward motion with the ball.

Mark Turgeon (Maryland Terrapins): “Take out the airborne player charge.”

Make the lane wider

The college lane is just 12 feet wide, while the international and NBA games feature a lane that is 16 feet wide. This is one of the areas in which Greenberg agrees the game can be improved. “By widening the lane, it would open up the floor for more cutting and also help with spacing.”

Archie Miller (Dayton Flyers): “I’d like to see the lane wider.”

Mick Cronin (Cincinnati Bearcats): “Width of the lane. That will help clean up the game and open up the court. They have it in Europe and in the NBA. Why not us?”

Make the court wider

The court is 94 feet by 50 feet and hasn’t changed.

Frank Martin (South Carolina Gamecocks): “The court needs to be wider and longer. Players are bigger, stronger and faster. Give everyone more space.”

Six fouls

College basketball’s rule is that a player fouls out on his fifth foul

Thad Matta (Ohio State Buckeyes): “The one that comes to mind for me is going to six fouls.”

No live timeouts for coaches

College coaches are allowed to call a timeout while the action is ongoing.

Mike Brey (Notre Dame Fighting Irish): “Coaches should not be able to call a timeout during a live ball.”

Shot clock

Men’s college basketball has used a 35-second shot clock since 1993, and there was a consensus among coaches that this needed to be altered. This was the No. 1 winner for most common answer.

Josh Pastner (Memphis Tigers): “Change the shot clock to 24 seconds.”

Rick Pitino (Louisville Cardinals): “It’s a tie for me. Change the shot clock to 30 seconds, and also, if there’s a 4-second call in the backcourt, that’s what you get to advance -- not 10 seconds.”

Billy Donovan (Florida Gators): “I’d like to see a shorter shot clock or being able to move the ball across half court during the last two minutes.”

Lon Kruger (Oklahoma Sooners): “Go to a 30-second shot clock.”