Self: "We've got to call fouls."

  • "The biggest thing is, we’ve got to call fouls. It’s hard to call fouls when everybody fouls every possession. Somehow we’ve got to get some absolutes like handchecking up front. That will create situations we learn to defend in a way that allows more freedom of movement. When that occurs, I think the game will get better.” –Bill Self

    I am definitely down with this. I know a lot of board rats like a physical game, but it really is just nonstop fouling right now.

    One litmus test for when the game has gotten rough again is MSU. Whenever the refs call fouls for a few seasons, or even just part of one, Izzo’s thuggers recede from the Top Ten and his Madness runs are not deep.

    Ratchet up the fouling and before you know it it is 2000 all over again.

    Though I like Bo Ryan’s version of Big Ten butcher ball much better that Ratso Izzo’s, if you sit down courtside at a Badger game the volume of grunts and groans are much louder and more frequent than what you hear in most Big 12 games.

    Ratchet up the fouling and you have muscle ball schools like UW and MSU in the Final Four with one draft choice a piece.

    Back draft choice dump trucks upto the designated stack schools populating the Final Four and you get UK and Duke there also.

    Cut back on the fouling this season and UW probably still makes it because of Frank Kaminsky and UW’s good trey balling, but MSU would never get to the Finals. A UVa, UNC, or Louisville would. If KU had a front court, it would have joined that group.

    The point is: as fouling is ratcheted down, the more finesse and explosively athletic teams move to the fore.

    If I understand him correctly, Self is right to want to put an end to hand checking to enable more movement.

    But doing these things will even more heavily favor the stack schools IMHO. The only way anyone stayed on the floor at all with Duke and UK this season was with constant fouling.

    Regardless, it would probably be too impolitic of Self to discuss the two things that need fixing the most with officiating.

    First, the refs appear to be corrupt and biasing games with no calls the last 10 minutes and then with actual bad calls the last 3 minutes as necessary. Since their biased calling seems to extend beyond just determining who wins, one is left with the appalling inference that spreads are being managed. This is appalling and has to be stopped, or we are just talking about staged basketball, not competitive basketball.

    Second, cheap shotting needs to be eliminated. Cheap shotters need to be ejected from games and need to miss the next game, too. Cheap shotting is just ridiculously unnecessary in the game today. Replay can eliminate it entirely from the game once the corrupt refs are flushed from the game.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Yet UW fouled less than any team in the country. Bo has players hold tennis balls in their hands on defensive drills. This of course makes it impossible to grab guys and teaches proper defensive technique.

    The cheap shotting got me adding up what’s happened to KU, and then UW. Perry gets walloped, no flagrant, and as I recall, not even a foul, and definitely not any fightback from UW.

    Now in the tourney, against UNC, Kaminsky gets walloped in the face, no foul, Badgers finish game on a 33-19 run.

    Against AZ, another Badger, Gasser I believe, gets walloped in the face, no foul called,

    Against Kentucky, Gasser again infamously, gets walloped in the face, no foul called, they watch replay for flagrant one, not even that.

    Finally last night, Gasser for the hat trick, 3 games, 3 wallops, no fouls called. He had to leave last nights game for a spell.

    Dekker gets creamed in the face, knocked woozy, had to go kneel down on the sideline. No foul called. Then as the officials bring Duke back into the game, Allen jumps into Koenig, elbows him in the face and the officials said Koenig fouled him!

    That’s 7 wallops in the face over the last 4 games with nary a foul called on any of the offenders.

    I’m still so pissed that college basketball has gotten this bad and it may have cost a team I care about a lot a chance at winning a championship.

    I just may figure out who wins college championships in the ESPN era. It might be an interesting study. More on that later.


  • If fouls were called, or more, West Virginia wouldn’t have 5 players to play.

    How does Mason foul out against Wichita St?

  • @jaybate-1.0 Thats what Im sayin about the refs! The NCAA needs to fire every single one of them. Flush them all. This tournament was a joke from top to bottom.

  • @wissoxfan83

    What appeared to happen to UW, KU and certain other teams in this tournament makes it appear that there is a systemic corruption in the tournament that needs to be investigated and remedied by appropriate, objective authority.

    Until this investigation and satisfactory remedy occurs, I think it is time for university Chancellors to withdraw their teams from the NCAA tournament and stage an alternative tournament in the interim.

    The NCAA seems unable to stage a safe, fair tournament, at this time.

  • Sometimes I think the only fair way to call a game is to let them play and call nothing. At least it is consistent.

    When we were kids we played a game we called “bask-foot.” We played it on concrete… basketball where you could tackle. Yes, it could get as rough as you imagine. But it didn’t take too long before players would adjust their play to protect their own health. Pretty soon, no one was getting banged up too much. Guys were getting hurt worse when we went back to rules, because the “trust” came back to the game and guys would go flying through the air and get nailed.

    Bo Ryan’s team is a perfect example of how to play physical without fouling. Had they not been nailed with “Duke calls” they would have won that game and committed few fouls. They got completely hosed.

    What is missing from this discussion is “inertia.” Players have become more athletic and physical. The game has advanced in speed. Players moving faster. Big players moving faster. The inertia involved is going to create contact, including hand checks. It is a mistake to just blame the defender for slowing down the drive. Some of the contact is being initiated by the driver and often hand checks are used to regain balance. And now, finally, the drivers are starting to get called for stiff arming, something that has gone on forever in this game but never called.

    The problem we have is old marketing guys are determining the rules of the game. “We need more scoring.” (or) “We need to speed up the game.” (or) “Look at these viewership numbers.” All of that has nothing to do with the actual game being played. But those are the driving forces that are creating the rule changes. So there is very little thought on what the impact will be of those rule changes because the rule changes don’t address physics. Inertia isn’t part of their equation.

    Another part of the game that is coming on stronger is dramatics… yes… the flopping! It is coming on more as a reaction to the rules of calling games tighter to “remove the contact.” The dramatics make the game look more physical today than before calling the game tighter. Guys use to rarely flop, now it’s part of everyone’s toolbox. It is a natural response to the unnatural shift in rules… going counter to inertia.

    If we want to consider any more rule changes, we should address it with the physics department first. At least they can formulate an understanding of what those changes might bring to the game.

    Until then, we will have to live with some horrendous officiating because much of the weakness starts at the actual rule (laws) they impose that don’t make sense, so it creates even more of an opening for them to interpret the rules and apply them incorrectly. Just listen to the announcers try to defend calls. Black comedy.

  • Last year officials were getting crucified at the beginning of the season because they called too many fouls, often touch fouls, that slowed down the game. We all complained about it. Games went long, couldn’t get into a flow, tons of free throws. Ugly to watch. So the refs went back to calling fouls the way they used to.

    Now we want them to try again? Will the players adjust eventually? Did they give up too soon?

  • At least in the tournament, the NCAA should take reviews out of the officials’ hands. I agree with what some were saying during the NC: “If you review it and still can’t get it right, what good is it?” Do what the NHL does (and this is something I think the NHL has done a marvelous job with). When there’s a review, the officials have nothing to do with it. They get a phone call from the league office, and guys in a settled and quiet room get to review the play and make the right call. For officials to make mistakes and then repeat that mistake by saying “We can’t see anything” when it’s an obvious call is an egregious error.

    I think officiating these past two years in college basketball has been some of the worst I’ve ever seen. What is a block/charge anymore? Is it just open to interpretation? Is traveling against the rules anymore or can players take 5 steps on their way to a layup? Something’s gotta change because these officials–and it was painfully obvious in the Final Four–are an absolute joke.

  • @drgnslayr

    I could live with ball with rules you propose, or others, but not if they were asymmetrically applied the last 10 minutes.

    The game has to be cleaned up AND a rationally fitting set of rules have to be written and enforced.

    The game is no longer sufficiently safe, or fair, in operation to justify participation.

  • Call forth coaches from this season’s final AP Top 20 teams, and ask them to compile listings of all blows to their players’ faces/heads during 2014-15…with film to illustrate the incident. Attempt to unearth all available game film of the incident. Study that film intricately, and match the incidents to referee calls/no calls as well as to specific teams and individual perpetrators. I’ve a feeling that the results of such a study would be shocking. (If such a study should encompass too wide a span, then limit it to play in this year’s NCAA Tourney.)

  • I’m a fairly competitive old geezer whose skeleton bears the nicks and ravages of impacts received decades ago in the sport of high school football. As a parent, early on I secretly hoped that my offspring might find different avenues to satisfy their own competitive instincts. In my youth, basketball appeared to be more of a finesse game, relatively safe from the blows to be expected on the gridiron. Today, the word FINESSE is almost laughable in terms of labeling collegiate basketball. The game has grown brutal, what with the speed and power generated by today’s training techniques. I look at all the wrapped knees, the players sidelined by significant skeletal injuries, the jabs and blows above the shoulders. Holy Moly!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    “The game has to be cleaned up AND a rationally fitting set of rules have to be written and enforced.”

    I agree… but do you think it is realistic this will happen?

    When we talk about corruption… isn’t the real corruption in the design of the system that has so many flaws in it (purposely) to allow corrupt and bad officiating to occur?

    Look at this NC game. There is no recourse available for victims like Wisconsin on those bad and missed calls. The game has now been written in stone. It’s over. Frank won’t get a rematch this time. The harm has been done.

    And now while we review the game and build our case proving faulty officiating, what will be the result after this is all said and done? The result will be that most people hate to deal with controversy and change, so they’ll reach down in their playbook and start calling those who are complaining “sore losers.” This happens every year, and they are right in that the fans that feel damaged will scream the loudest. Even though there are plenty of fans that just want to see fairness in the game.

    The message from this has already started to dilute into the soil, like the watering of our tomato plants. Most people are already focused on their “Bay Watch” summers.

    The corruption will continue. Duke will continue to get “Duke calls.” Maybe it is nothing more than the fact that Rat Face has the ultimate prestige in this sport so when he complains at halftime, refs will change their perspective to a stronger Duke tilt in the second half. Maybe Rat Face has some quiet conversations with people associated with the bracketology and he makes his case just before the structure is built. Duke is a school full of weasel attorneys capable of bending laws into their own selfish needs… don’t forget that. Ask an attorney, any attorney, about fairness. They are likely to choke on their cobb salad! They are focused on the prize… winning! Anything goes! If you want fairness, you should have been contemplating the meaning back in the days… with Plato and Socrates!

  • @REHawk

    “The game has grown brutal, what with the speed and power generated by today’s training techniques. I look at all the wrapped knees, the players sidelined by significant skeletal injuries, the jabs and blows above the shoulders. Holy Moly!”

    Yes it has. Rules can’t clean all this up. As I said above, this is all about physics. Dynamics of taking more size and weight and pushing it through space at a faster speed. And it will involve collisions.

    Just look at what football has become. A few years ago I had a friend pull me a media pass to sit on the sidelines of Chiefs games. I thought it would be great to see the game up close. It ended up making me nauseated. The sound of the collisions of players, helmets and pads… very much resembled a bad car crash in an intersection. It was beyond violent in what I had known violence to be… and I’m no “p” (wife term).

    The only thing constant in basketball is the hardness of the hardwoods. It may not be concrete, but it is a surface that does not forgive (much). And the guys are getting bigger, jumping higher, running faster. Think inertia. Think about mass in motion.

    There will be no way to prevent injuries in this game, especially in the future. Some rules might help reduce them. But the ultimate culprit in all of this is the advancement of training. The idea that people like Hudy is going to reduce the risk is a pipe dream. Hudy is upping the risk, because she is making these guys perform faster and on many she is putting extra mass on them. Hudy is increasing the risk!

  • I can’t believe I’m about to type this because I agree the officiating has been atrocious of late and I’m not a big fan of muscle ball, but could the cheap-shotting and physical nature of the game actually benefit smaller, less-talented schools, giving them literally a puncher’s chance against a Kentucky or a Duke?

    In major pro sports, a salary cap was instituted to level the playing field and to prevent teams from buying up all the available talent. In the OAD done era where there are precious few safeguards in place other than roster size to prevent Kentucky from “buying” up all the talent, perhaps allowing more physical play is a viable, though perhaps misguided, way to try level the playing field some. I mean, if you’re a team full of sub-footers and you can’t outrun, out-jump, or out-anything the other team, getting physical may be the only countermeasure you have to neutralize the opponent. Again, I don’t like it but perhaps it’s a necessary evil arising out of the concentration of basketball wealth in the hands of a few teams and the need for high ratings and advertising dollars, things that I can only imagine are severely crimped by the specter of blowout games.

  • The NCAA has spent an inordinate amount of time changing the rules and very little time in coming up with the proper procedures for implementing them. The implementation of the new contact rules, or as I call them the f%@g Bilas rules, which starting last year is was a royal F-Up, with very uneven implementation and defense minded teams like KU getting heavily penalized. Instead of changing more rules, the NCAA need to concentrate in making sure that the current rules are enforced evenly across conferences and teams. I cannot recall (correct me if I am wrong) when there was as much talk about bad refereeing as there had been in this tournament, Wisconsin is fully justified being POd since it was particularly and overwhelmingly affected by bad calls.

    If this issue is not addressed, college basketball will become what boxing was a one time, a collection of rigged fights and a completely discredited sport…and if it continues, how soon before Congress gets involved and finishes screwing up the sport even more?

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Right on!

  • Speaking of “leveling the playing field” and the “neutralizing of teams,” our very own Jayhawks got leveled and neutralized, esp. by two key factors this late season: the blow to Perry’s knee coupled with the benching of Cliff due to the unresolved NCAA investigation. Add to those huge incidents the second season that Wayne has apparently lost much of his hops, my suspicion that Frank played with a lot more structural pain than has been advertised, the various injuries which intermittently curtailed Landon, Cliff, Devonte, Jamari and Brannen. Hayseuss Maria! Top level Division 1 Basketball, in the snap of a finger, can erupt into something of a wicked nightmare for many players, coaches and faithful followers.

  • @REHawk

    It is the nature of the beast…all teams go through the same process, we just don’t know about it.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I posted much of the same on another thread. the SMU, final, and several UK games screamed FIX to me and I didn’t have a dog in the hunt in any of those games-didn’t bet-didn’t even fill out a bracket this year.

  • @JayhawkRock78

    When fans of programs with no dog in the fight are discussing the subject, there has to be a lot of truth to it…no question that UK and dUKe got preferential treatment starting with the brackets…maybe if we changed our initial from KU to UK…nope, the stink is too bad.

  • @jaybate-1.0 My question is this, the abhorrent foul calling and not calling in the tournament was so obvious, wouldnt the NCAA already have present knowledge about this situation? I mean, were they watching the games at all? I would hope so.

    Which brings me to my next question. If they did have present knowledge of said above, would it be possible for them to have preexisting knowledge of it? What if they knew this was going to happen? What if they are involved some how?

    If they are, then nothing will get done. They just want the ratings and the big $$$.

    Again, Dr Naismith and Phog Allen are probly rolling in their graves right now.

  • @drgnslayr

    Your post is of great importance and needs to be read by persons in authority of the game.

    There are two threats to the game: physics and corruption.

    We are losing ground on physics, as you point out well.

    We have apparently lost on corruption.

    The bitter part is that we could win both, if there were will to do so among those at the top.

    Brad Stevens seems to have seen this coming and left. Donovan seems to have reached a similar conclusion and plans to leave.

    The NBA is a tough place, but it does not appear to have fallen into the kind of corruption that rigs an entire playoff season just for ratings.

    Self seems to have made his peace with it by trying to win conference titles that aren’t rigged.

    But with Shaka coming to Texas it seems likely that the dump trucks of OADs and biased officiating are sure to follow.

    Nike will have at least one stack in each power five conference.

    Any team outside the stack in the NCAA tourney will get “the last 10 minute no call treatment” and head shots and replay ignoring that UW got.

    Big trouble in River City.

    My recommendation is for the non stack schools to cut their spending, build up war chests for 4 years with the NCAA tourney monies, then bolt as a group into a new association with a new TV network and leave the five Nike stacks to themselves. This will work.

  • And let the five stacks play with themselves, literally.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Most of your previous posts along these lines has a disclaimer that you are not alleging illegal conspiracies. However, by its definition corruption is “dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery”. I don’t think that refs give Coach K calls because they are paid. They do it because they subconsciously defer to his demands because of his record. UK or UCLA got calls not because a ref was paid but because UK was supposed to win and UCLA is well UCLA.

    Until I see proof, I am unable to believe that an organization such as the NCAA, which most people on this site think doesn’t have one person working for them that can find their ass with both hands, can at the same time can be in cahoots with refs and TV networks and not be found out.

    Look at the statement from John Adams about the replay situation. I find it hard to believe that it came from a sentient being. Who on god’s green earth could think that what he said was any excuse for what happened? How could this same person be in on anything requiring the ability to think?

    Successful conspirators are not stupid and when working with more than a few people are few and far between.

    There are things that can be done around the edges to improve the situation: Uniformity between how games in different conferences are called. The power conferences paying dedicated officials. Replays not judged by the same people who made the original calls. Unfortunately this will improve but not perfect the product.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Speaking of Jay Bilas, I have somehow missed any of his comments about any of the Final 4 games and the NC game. Did anyone hear what he actually has said about the atrocious officiating? Especially against Wisconsin?

  • @sfbahawk So it appears we have 2 hypotheses.

    1. The NCAA is corrupt.
    2. The NCAA is stupid.

    I think I’m with stupid.

  • @jaybate-1.0 how feasible is this solution: 6 refs per Game. 3 on each half. More eyes, less chance for group corruption due to whistle blowing.

  • @ralster

    ESPN was left off the Tournament so I did not have chance to hear or read his comments. I believe he has a column in the subscription section of ESPN but I have no access to it.

  • @Blown

    Adding refs makes sense, but only if they were allowed to call it honestly and fairly.

    There are also technology augmentations, but these require the will for a fair game.

    The problem now appears to be systemic bias.

    College basketball is spanning many cultures.

    Some cultures are very tolerant of bias.

    Bias is considered inevitable and so expected and tolerated. Bias is actually designed in to ensure the orthodoxy prevails.

    Other cultures are intolerant of bias. Bias is considered inefficient and counter productive. Rules and enforcement are set up to encourage fair play, because fair play is believed to yield a willing compliance that produces desired outcomes most efficiently.

    Each approach is pursued because it Is believed to best serve the values and interests of the leadership of each.

    There are always three approaches at play in any conflicted situation: orthodoxy, protesting reform, and the opportunistic pragmatist playing both the orthodoxy and the protesting reformer off against each other.

    The private oligarch in any situation is the one who exploits any or all three approaches expediently to pursue his agenda.

    Whomever drives the NCAA car now appears very tolerant of bias.

    There appears no will for a fair game.

  • @sfbahawk

    " Most of your previous posts along these lines has a disclaimer that you are not alleging illegal conspiracies. However, by its definition corruption is “dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery”."

    I don’t think any of us are pointing at K and saying he is bribing officials. There are many definitions of corruption, and I believe what we are talking about fits this description best: perversion of integrity.

    When K works a ref like he did at halftime he knows (from history) that he’ll be able to shift refs to a different state of mind for the second half. And if you look at the officiating it totally flipped the second half. Look at Wisconsin’s second half fouls. They never experienced so many calls before, all season, while being pounded physically. I don’t think K in his consciousness ever wants to “cheat the game.” That’s where the perversion is illustrated. He is so fixed on competing he delves into a state of perversion to gain an advantage. That is an unnatural act because his actions conflict with his conscious state of mind.

    The bigger problem is that us fans have been conditioned into such a high level of competitiveness on our sports that we are corrupted, too. Like I mentioned earlier, mostly the pro-Wisconsin fans are screaming about the bad officiating now. The others are using a tactic of pushing those speaking out aside calling them “sore losers.” In a healthy society we would all be pushing for fairness. Why play a game that is corrupt? It is merely a facade of what a game could be. We should ALL be fighting for fairness because it is OUR game!

    If the calls had been unfairly leveled on Duke and Wisconsin won (partially) because of those calls us same fans should still be in here fighting the fight… this time defending K, because actually we are fighting for the integrity of the game itself.

    I’m afraid until us fans get our poop together, the game doesn’t stand a chance to become fair, after all, it is merely a reflection of our society. What’s fair about that? I guess you feel society is pretty fair if you are a billionaire and paying less taxes than your secretary.

  • @Blown

    “how feasible is this solution: 6 refs per Game. 3 on each half. More eyes, less chance for group corruption due to whistle blowing.”

    Not feasible for several reasons including the extra time consumed while 6 officials argue it out.

    I’m thinking the real breakthrough in officiating will come from the technology world. Install many cameras at different angles and build software to have games called electronically. It is the only way to avoid the bias. On the big games, machines can go through extra verification processes to avoid possible corruption.

    We already count on electronics and technology now. We are here today having this conversation because of the video replay that indicates the game was not called fairly on several calls.

    Imagine K at half screaming at a computer? That would be as “effective” as all of us screaming at our televisions. No more unfair bias because he is a basketball God! Just mention this idea to him and watch him squirm and spit out a defensive lawyer statement.

    If we can put a contraption on Mars, we can build a system that removes bad officiating from the game. It will come and be in a constant state of improvement and every year we have the ability to “tweak” the rules to tolerances allowed. This is the only way to truly study “cause and effect” on the game pertaining to tweaks because there will be consistency throughout the game.

    I’m imaging a piece of very sensitive IR (infrared) equipment that will be able to (finally) accurately assess human contact. The calls won’t be generated off of video input, but infrared input… the heat off of bodies. A much clearer representation of where body parts exist in a spatial world.

    Meanwhile… the game will always be corrupt because man is corruptible.

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