Every-Thing Sports

How the NCAA can make sports more fair (and fun)

NCAA.com

At my fulltime job, I do a lot of driving around when I do in-home consultations. So naturally I listen to the radio, music, or podcasts all day long. During the midday yesterday, I found myself listening to Sports Talk 790's In The Trenches with Greg Koch and ND Kalu. Listening to a show hosted by two former football players during a Monday while football season in going on is not a bad idea. However, what was a most awful idea was a call they took early on in their show. The caller wasn't a corny character or anything. He was an actual person. He didn't seem to be drunk or under the influence of any drugs either. But maybe he's on to something about making the NCAA enforce new rules to make college football more fair:

Road game noise ordinance

The caller to ITT said the NCAA should enforce a noise ordinance for all road games because it's not fair that the road team can't always hear what they're doing on offense. He was highly upset about it and made sure to let the laughing hosts know he has their number and will call them to let them know how he feels. I suggest the refs carry a decibel meter and immediately throw a personal foul flag on the fans. If they get a second noise ordinance personal foul, random sections would get ejected for every ensuing penalty! Free throws in basketball, penalty shots in hockey and soccer...you get my drift. (Extreme sarcasm here for the sarcasm impaired.)

Transfer Portal Day

The transfer portal is open and available to all sports, but it mainly effects football and basketball since they're the most high profile and highest revenue sports. I wrote a piece about UH's D'Eriq King redshirting leaving redshirting yesterday. Since National Signing Day and announcements alike are such a big deal, wouldn't it be cool to see Transfer Portal Day? Just think about it: what if King did decide to leave and enter the portal? He's sitting in his parent's living room or a banquet hall and in front of him are three hats...you know where I'm going with this. Besides, if they were smart, the NCAA could monetize this by selling the exclusive television rights to one of their partners for a bagillion dollars. (I'm serious about this one.)

Whiffle bats and balls

NCAA baseball has long used metal bats. That distinct ping is a rite of passage to any NCAA baseball fan to hear. Much has been made about the safety of those bats. Some have even cited them as a reason scores tend to get out of hand. There's a mercy rule in Little League baseball to prevent such scores "in the interest of fairness and sportsmanship." I propose that any time the scoring differential is more than 10 runs, the team that's ahead must use whiffle bats and be pitched to with whiffle balls. Once the opposing team is back within five runs, the opposing team can go back to using regular bats and balls. Wonder what a knuckleball would look like using a whiffle ball? (Totally joking, but halfway serious.)

20 second shot clock in basketball

If the NBA uses four quarters, 12 minutes each, with a 24 second shot clock, why does the NCAA use a 35 second shot clock for two 2o minute halves? I've never understood that. Ever since I was a very young child, I've always questioned some of these things. Two 20 minute halves is cool. They don't need to go to four quarters. But the 35 second shot clock is utterly ridiculous! A 20 second shot clock is very time appropriate. They use roughly 83.3% of the NBA's standard time, so use the same percentage of their shot clock. Scoring would go up which causes viewership to go up which would make them more money. (Dead serious here. First proposed this once when I was high with some friends in college. They thought I was tripping until I did the math. That's when they knew I was on another level when it came to sports.)

One day, I'll revisit this subject in a more serious manner because I've long held onto several ideas the NCAA should use in order to improve several sports. Maybe I'll do it sport by sport. Maybe I'll do another composite article. I also have more jokes in the arsenal. Can't empty the clip all at once. I only added commentary as to which are jokes and which ones aren't after a conversation with Brandon Strange. If you don't know him, he and Josh Jordan are responsible for making sure a lot of the content you see or watch on SportsMap gets done flawlessly. Huge thanks and props to those guys for all they do. If you want to see me appear in videos expressing these opinions, hit them up!

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The Texans should swing for the fences. Composite image by Jack Brame.

With each passing day, the Deshaun drama thickens. It's progressed to Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeting, basically humbling himself to Deshaun.

A city that a few short weeks ago offered up mega star power across the board, has now seen James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and George Springer all depart for a variety of reasons. The impact of Deshaun leaving would be irreversible guaranteeing the Texans resting comfortably in the bottom of the AFC South for the next decade, wallowing in futility.

The saga will only intensify in two weeks should Patrick Mahomes collect another Lombard Trophy. As 2017 draft class contemporaries, Deshaun is comparing his career to #15. Another ring would place Mahomes up 2-0 in that discussion with Watson.

Perhaps the Texans should take a play from the Oilers playbook and inquire on Dabo Swinney. In the pursuit of securing the services of Warren Moon, the Oilers made a power play and secured the services of Moon's former CFL coach, Hugh Campbell. I've attended several luncheons and engagements in which Deshaun served as the keynote speaker. In many of those venues, a short video presentation would include personal greetings and feel good overtures directed to Deshaun from Dabo. The end result was Deshaun lighting up like a Christmas tree. There's a viable relationship in place there.

At the end of the day, Deshaun is a competitor. Losing DeAndre Hopkins was a major loss, but not to the degree that you might think. Deshaun still went out and threw for over 4,000 yards this season, and with a sub-par supporting cast, even pulling guys off of the practice squad in late December contests to fill out the receiving corps. The issue for Watson is trust, and culture. Hence, the recent headlines surrounding the Jets as a future home make very little sense. The Jets in 4 of their last 5 seasons have had double-digit losing seasons. Until the recent resurgence of the Browns, the Jets far and away have held the title of the "laughingstock" of the NFL.

The biggest challenge for the Texans is who could persuade Deshaun to stay? Could team President Jamey Rootes calm down the noise? It certainly won't come from Texans Ring of Honor recipient Andre Johnson. If I were Cal McNair, I would place a call to 105 Sikes Hall in Clemson, SC and ask for Dabo's office. That's as good of a place to start as any other.

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