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NCAA proposes numerous rule changes to speed up basketball


NCAA proposes numerous rule changes to speed up basketball

NCAA basketball could look pretty different next season, as numerous rule changes were proposed Friday to help speed up a game that many have complained is becoming increasingly difficult to watch.

With hopes of getting a faster-paced game, the NCAA men's basketball rules committee proposed several rule changes, including changing the shot clock to 30 seconds from the current 35 seconds, as well as taking away one second-half timeout and altering timeouts to make them line up better with media timeouts. Additionally, the committee also proposed changing the distance of the restricted-area arc under the basket from three feet to four feet and allowing officials to penalize players who fake fouls.

These changes aren't official yet, as they still need to be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is slated to discuss the proposals on June 8.

“The committee has taken significant steps to reverse the trends in the sport that are concerning to the men’s college basketball world,” committee chair and Belmont head coach Rick Byrd said in the NCAA's release. “We have spent the past year collecting data, opinions and considering proposals that will help our game. Our anticipation is that dedicated officiating enforcement, along with this package of changes, will help balance the offense and defense in our game.”

[MORE BIG TEN: Top picks and draft hopefuls converge at NBA Draft Combine]

The proposal to change the length of the shot clock comes after the NIT experimented with the 30-second shot clock during this year's postseason tournament. It would still be six seconds longer than the NBA's 24-second shot clock.

Additional proposals related to the pace of play include removing one timeout from each coach's arsenal in the second half of games. Resumption of play following timeouts and the fouling out of players would also be more strictly enforced. Coaches would no longer be allowed to call timeouts while the ball is live. Timeouts called within 30 seconds of media timeouts would serve as media timeouts.

The committee also proposed a rule enforcing players who fake fouls.

"The committee discussed the growing issue of players attempting to draw fouls by deceiving officials," the release read. "The committee proposed a rule that would allow officials to penalize faking fouls during the use of video to review a possible flagrant foul."

The committee also OK'd an experimental rule change that, like the 30-second shot clock this past season, would be tested in the NIT. That experimental rule is adding a sixth foul to players, which is the same as in the NBA.

Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately


Northwestern running back Jeremy Larkin diagnosed with cervical stenosis, will retire immediately

Tough news out of Evanston this morning: Northwestern announced that running back Jeremy Larkin will retire immediately after being diagnosed with cervical stenosis.

Cervical stenois is the narrowing of the spinal canal in one's neck, according to Mayo Clinic. Larkin's condition is thankfully not life-threatening, though it does prevent him from continuing to participate in the game of football. 

"Football has been a lifelong passion and it has been a process to reconcile the fact I won't be on that field again, given I've played this game since I was five years old," Larkin said.

"I'm extremely appreciative of the Northwestern sports medicine and athletic training staffs for uncovering this condition, and for my coaches and the medical staff for always putting my health first.

"I came to this University to engage at the absolute highest level on the field and in the classroom, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue one of those while supporting my teammates from the sideline." 

Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald called the news "heartbreaking."

"This is heartbreaking because I see every day how much Jeremy loves the game, loves his teammates, and loves to compete," Fitzgerald said in a statement. "But this is the absolute best possible outcome for him.

"The discovery of this condition allowed Jeremy and his family to make an informed decision for his long-term health and well-being. For those of us who have known Jeremy Larkin since his high school days, his future is exceptionally bright. I can't wait to see the impact he makes in our world."

Larkin is a sophomore from Cincinnati. He finishes his Northwestern career with 156 carries for 849 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns.

Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal


Former Illini champion Kevin Anderson upsets Roger Federer in Wimbledon quarterfinal

Former University of Illinois tennis star Kevin Anderson completed a marathon upset against an all-time great on the highest stage of professional tennis.

Anderson came back from two sets down to beat Roger Federer in Wimbledon’s quarterfinals 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 13-11 on Wednesday morning. He will play in the semifinals of the tournament for the first time in his career.

As a native of South Africa, Anderson played three seasons with the Fighting Illini and won the NCAA doubles championship during the 2005-06 season as a sophomore. The 32-year-old was a three-time All-American in singles at Illinois.

Now, as the eighth ranked singles player on the ATP World Tour, Anderson is a force to be reckoned with at the professional level. He made it all the way to the US Open final in 2017.

The former Illini star will look to keep his recent success going when he represents Illinois in the semifinals of Wimbledon this Friday.