Every-Thing Sports

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

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 redshirtingleaving 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 Astros rotation looks like a strength moving forward. Composite Getty Image.

The Houston Astros are coming off a much-needed series win over the White Sox, but have a quick turnaround as they host the Orioles on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.

The 'Stros dropped the first game of the series with Framber Valdez on the mound, but were able to rebound with Hunter Brown and Spencer Arrighetti starting the final two games.

Brown was brilliant once again, and Arrighetti bounced back after a disastrous start against the Tigers over the weekend. Despite all the injures to the Astros staff this season, their young pitchers are stepping up when they need them the most.

Brown has six consecutive quality starts and is beginning to show signs that he can be the top of the rotation pitcher the club always hoped he could develop into.

Arrighetti has stepped in and shown that he belongs in the big leagues, and has provided innings Houston desperately requires with so many pitchers on the injured list.

Speaking of which, with Justin Verlander on the IL, Double A prospect Jake Bloss will make the start for Houston on Friday night. Bloss has quickly progressed through the farm system, having been drafted just a year ago.

We'll see how he performs in his MLB debut, but the club seems to have a lot of quality pitching options moving forward, especially with Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers scheduled to return in late July and early August respectively.

And as we look at the Astros rotation moving forward, perhaps they will go back to a six-man rotation during certain stretches in the second half of the season.

Which could prove to be vital to the team's success. As good as Ronel Blanco has been, he's never pitched as many innings as he'll be asked to pitch this year. Same goes for Arrighetti. And let's face it, sending Verlander out to pitch on four days rest consistently at 41 years old doesn't sound like a wise decision. He's already been on the IL twice this year.

While some see Garcia and McCullers as wild cards to help the team this season, Astros GM Dana Brown doesn't see it that way. He told the Astros flagship station this week that he's counting on those guys to make big contributions when they return. And he's counting on their postseason experience should they get there.

Keep in mind, Garcia has a 3.61 career ERA and has been durable outside the Tommy John surgery. And McCullers has always been good, it's just the health that causes concern.

Garcia is also an example of how a player can skip Double A and Triple A and have success right away in the big leagues. Hopefully, Bloss can follow in his footsteps, since he's bypassing Triple A to make his first start.

So what's the short and long-term outlook for the Astros rotation? And should we expect Verlander to return in 2025?

Be sure to watch the video above as we address those questions and much more!

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