February 17, 2009
Sunday night, Tim Floyd was ejected during his team's game at ASU on a very questionable charge call that probably should have been notched a block. Floyd lost it, though if he's to be believed, he was merely making full use of his clearly infringed-upon first amendment rights. In either case, he went ballistic, and it was all thanks to that most timeless and divisive of basketball calls: the block/charge.
This is why I’m proposing college basketball cut back on block/charge calls almost entirely. Crazy talk, I know, but stick with me here. Only in the most blatant and obvious instances would a ref blow the whistle. Aside from that, let them play. We can call it the "Chris Mottram 50/50 rule." Or just the "50/50 rule" if that's too long. If the blacktop’s taught us anything, it’s that there’s no need for a call every single time two players make contact.
There are some obvious concerns here. One is the general sense that the game is already very physical. It's physical in ways we don't often see, or in ways that we see but don't often register. Look at last night's UConn-Pitt game, for example. DeJaun Blair is already a physical monstrosity; do we really need to give him carte blanche to commit a charge? To step in front of a driving player without fear of drawing a foul? I shudder to think of Blair unleashed in this way.
That said, there's a gray area here where hey, you know what? You don't need to call every single block/charge. Call the obvious ones. When they're truly questionable, leave it alone. Let the players decide the result of the play. In that way, we get a more fluid game, and as Chris mentions, we don't have to deal with the inane complaints and constant second-guesses and, worst of all, the floppers. Oh, the floppers! May we eradicate their kind forever.
You know what? This could work.