Sports notes: NCAA changes around corner

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From the sidelines


Marty Gordon

Changes are coming to college basketball, and I don’t know if they’re good ones. The 3-point shot makes the game a little more exciting and keeps the scores where they should be – high – but the NCAA, who has made questionable decisions in the past, would like to change that.

A proposal is on the table to move the line to the international game distance of 22 feet, one and ¾ inches. Have you ever watched international games? Well, they are boring and most pure-shooters do not even exist. So, I don’t think this will improve the game any.

If approved, the line could be moved back in Division I next season. Division II and III would not have to deal with the change until the 2020-21 season.

The argument, according to the NCAA, cited the “deeper” international line in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) last season. Teams in the NIT averaged 23.1 three-point attempts from behind the arc, compared to 22.8 during the college basketball regular season.

This change would be the first in almost a decade after it was moved to 19-9 in the 2008-09 season.

Other recommendations include: Players could be assessed a Flagrant 2 technical fouls and/or ejected for using bad language associated with race, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation.

Coaches could also be allowed to call live-call timeouts in the final two minutes of the second half and overtime periods. This goes against the current rule not allowing coaches to call any live-ball timeouts during the entire game.

One of the recommendations that I agree with is simple and will make the game better. Instant replay cam be used in the last two minutes of the second half and overtime periods for basket interference or goaltending. Several times this came into play in last season contests especially in the NCAA tournament play.

The NCAA play committee is expected to vote on the changes next month.

Scott Newton has been named director of athletics for Richard Bland College of William & Mary. He had been the interim director of athletics. He is a graduate of Radford University and will remain women’s volleyball coach at Richard Bland.

Former Virginia Tech basketball signee Jaiden McCoy is headed to her second stop in Division I basketball. The 6-3 post player has committed to play at the University of Tennessee. After leaving the Blacksburg school after just one week, she spent two seasons at Northwest Florida State College and has two years of eligibility remaining.

One-time Tech men’s basketball player Khadim Sy also has a new destination. After spending the past year at Daytona State after leaving Blacksburg, the 6-10 power forward is headed to Ole Miss.

Shelby Calhoun has added to what’s an already stacked women’s basketball recruiting class for the Hokies. The 5-11 shooting guard from Louisville, Kentucky is a rising senior at Louisville Academy and would be in the 2020 class at Tech.

Also, Chris Clarke will not attempt a resurgence in his basketball career at Virginia Tech. He announced Wednesday, he will enroll at Texas Tech and be eligible this season to suit up for the Red Raiders.

Clarke did not play last season for the Hokies after being suspended for an unknown reason.