Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 at 4:52 pm  |  3 responses

Freed Up

The NCAA’s refereeing philosophy is in the process of becoming more like the NBA’s.

by Ray Glier

John Adams, coordinator of officials for the NCAA, is willing to hire retired NBA referees to call college games, but personnel is not all Adams wants to borrow from the League.

He wants to copy the NBA philosophy of strict adherence to the rule book.

“We need to steal from the NBA,” Adams (right) says. “They have been about freedom of movement and about rhythm, speed, balance, quickness or RSBQ. They are about officiating as more of a science, and less of an art, and about recognizing and reacting.”

What Adams has been trying to weed out of the college game, among other things, is the hand check by the defender with the referee waiting to see if it disrupts the play. Adams insists a foul is a foul, whether the dribbler loses control or not. It used to be calls were made along the lines of “advantage/disadvantage.” Interpretation: There had to be some mayhem for a foul to be called.

Josh Pastner, the head coach of the Memphis Tigers, says college coaches have been duly warned. “The early part of the season, you better adjust to it because they’re calling it,” Pastner says. “What I like is the terminology Mr. Adams uses, which is: ‘Call the rule book.’ Instead of emphasizing certain rules this year, it is ‘call the rules as they are written.’ If you do that, it allows much more freedom of movement.”

Adams does not have authority over officials, per se. Their bosses are the respective officials’ coordinators of various conferences. But he can decide who officiates the NCAA Tournament, which is a poke to officials to follow the “rule book” mandate.

The college game had become too physical, Adams says, and he wants officials to stop that. “People say, ‘Let the players decide who wins the game, not the officials.’ The players do decide. When they decide to foul, it was them who made that decision, not the official. The official just called it.”

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  • Billref

    Yikes…. instead of stealing philosophy or anything else from the NBA, lets give Mr. Adams to the NBA!!!! The refs at that level don’t call traveling, carrying the ball and they sometimes ignore fouls committed by the “Stars” under the philosophy of the almighty dollar and butts in seats. NBA players are athletic but the game is no longer basketball as compared to the college game. The NBA is a business and entertainment enterprise. NCAA basketball is supposed to be about competition, fair play and education. Tell Mr. Adams he has forgotten the mission of collegiate sports

  • hushabomb

    To be devils advocate, most (if not all) college kids wanna play professional ball at some stage. By allowing Mr Adams to do what he has proposed, this will prepare the kids.

    And anyway its a good thing cos the players decide who wins and loses.

  • SwaGG_SeaN

    Hmm he wants to make the NCAA alot like the L,