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Possible Rule Changes Coming to College Basketball

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The NCAA Rules Committee recommended new rule changes aimed at improving the on the court product of college basketball. The recommendations will be voted on June 8th.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee recommended some new rule changes that could be take effect next season. The biggest proposed change is the shortening of the shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds. The 35 second clock has been in place since the 1993/94 season. The change is designed to increase scoring which has been decreasing the last few seasons. The committee's hope is that a shorter shot clock will lead to more possessions, and more scoring next year.

In addition to the shot clock change, the committee hopes to address another fan complaint by decreasing timeouts. The proposed change would decrease the number of timeouts per team from 5 to four. The "use it or lose it" would still be in effect, but now, just three TOs can be carried over to the second half. The committee also recommended that if a timeout is called within 30 seconds of a media timeout, the team timeout will serve as the media timeout. This means a 30 or 60 second team timeout might be stretched out to 2 minutes, but there would no longer be two commercial breaks with almost no game action between them. Officials would also be instructed to try and force teams to resume play faster out of timeouts in an effort to improve pace of play.

While the timeout and shot clock changes will get the most attention, there were a few other minor recommended changes as well. The committee hopes to increase the restricted area from 3' to 4' which is dimension the NBA uses. They also want to allow officials to use replay review to determine whether or not a shot clock violation occurred. Also related to replay, another proposed change would allow officials to penalize players for flopping when reviewing flagrant fouls. Lastly, the committee wants to lift the ban on dunking in warmups.

If passed, the proposed rules should improve the college game for fans, and they would probably work in ND's favor. Last season, Mike Brey put his support behind a 30 second shot clock, and an offense as good as Notre Dame's should have little trouble adjusting to the shortened length of possessions. The timeout rules would probably hurt the Irish a bit since they generally use a shorter bench. That being said, if Jerian Grant can play over 39 minutes per game in the tournament without noticeable fatigue, I'm sure the Irish can cope with a little less rest during games. While the changes are expected to be passed, they are not yet official. The final vote by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel will will take place on June 8th.