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DI basketball committee seeks feedback on multiteam-event concepts

Men’s oversight committee narrows list to two proposals that emphasize value of events

At its most recent meeting, the Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee completed its review of criteria for multiple-team events, narrowing to two the concepts that will be shared with NCAA members for feedback.

During its April meeting in Indianapolis, the MBOC focused on two concepts that panel members felt emphasize the value of multiple-team events to enhance schedules and encourage competitive matchups early in the season. The concepts now will be sent to Division I members to gather feedback before the panel finalizes a formal recommendation to send to the Division I Council.

“There has been extensive valuable thought and feedback put forth by our committee members, institutions, coaches and event operators, which has all informed these two concepts,” said Jeff Hathaway, special assistant to the president for athletics at Hofstra and chair of the MBOC. “The responses we receive from the membership to these concepts will help us complete this process and put forth a proposal that works best for our members and best supports the game.”

The two concepts on which the committee will seek member feedback are:

  • Teams can schedule 28 regular-season games plus one multiple-team event that does not exceed three games or schedule a total of 29 games without competing in a multiple-team event.
  • Teams can schedule 28 regular-season games, plus a multiple-team event that does not exceed three games; schedule 29 games, plus a multiple-team event that does not exceed two games; or schedule a total of 29 games without participating in a multiple-team event. The committee amended this option from its previous form, reducing the total number of games in a season that does not include participation in a multiple-team event from 30 to 29.

To help support the consistent application of whatever standard is ultimately supported by the membership and the Council, MBOC members supported the development of a national certification program to help ensure standards are met among event operators. The MBOC will seek membership feedback about the certification program at the same time it gathers feedback about the two proposals.

The committee eliminated a third option that would have allowed teams to compete in a total of 31 games regardless of whether they competed in a multiple-team event. The committee felt the two options it advanced emphasize the important role the events play in facilitating competitive matchups early in the season. The committee also considered maintaining the current criteria, allowing teams to compete in 27 regular-season games plus a multiple-team event that does not exceed four games. But the committee agreed that standard does not resolve issues around scheduling the fourth contest.

The MBOC began reviewing multiple-team events in October 2017 because the legislation was a decade old and primed for a review, as well as to respond to member confusion about the legislated qualification requirements for participating in those events. During the 2018-19 regular season, 92 percent of men’s basketball programs participated in a multiple-team event.

Any legislative changes, however, will not take effect until at least the 2020-21 season. To address scheduling concerns for the 2019-20 season, the MBOC and Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee collaborated on the development of waiver guidelines, which were approved by the Committee on Legislative Relief in January, to help schools make decisions on scheduling this year as the new multiple-team event legislation is finalized.

After reviewing the feedback from members, the MBOC could recommend a legislative proposal to the Council as early as June.

3-Point Line, Shot Clock Changes Recommended

The MBOC also recommended to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee that two experimental rules used during the National Invitation Tournament this spring become permanent rules changes. The committee recommended extending the length of the 3-point line to 22 feet, 1¾ inches to match the length used by FIBA, the International Basketball Association, effective with the 2019-20 season for Division I. It also recommended resetting the shot clock to 20 seconds after an offensive rebound. Both rules changes were recommended to the MBOC by the Division I Competition Committee.

Any change to those rules is still a few steps from becoming official, however. The Men’s Basketball Rules Committee will consider the recommendation at its meeting May 7-10. If it agrees with the change, the rules committee will forward its recommendation to the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which has approval authority over all rules changes. PROP then would discuss the proposal on its June 5 teleconference. If PROP approves the changes, they would be effective in Division I for the 2019-20 season.

Because all playing rules changes affect all three divisions, not just Division I, the MBOC made the recommendation with the understanding that schools in Division II and III would have another year to implement the changes. Division I schools will be notified of the proposed rules changes so they can make plans to change the 3-point line markings on their courts prior to the 2019-20 season.