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January 14, 2004

NCAA Delays Decision On Basketball Rules Changes

Jan 14, 2004

By STEVE HERMAN
AP Sports Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Proposals to extend the 3-point arc and widen the free throw lane have been put on hold while the NCAA tries to determine what impact the changes would have on college basketball.

The changes were recommended by the men's and women's basketball rules committees but were turned down this week by the NCAA executive committee at the association's convention in Nashville, Tenn.

"The most important thing is that we make a decision that's in the best interest for the game of basketball," men's committee chairman and Rice coach Willis Wilson said Wednesday.

"Coaches, obviously, have to have input into that," Wilson said. "The court markings pertaining to the lane have not changed in the last 50 years; players have changed tremendously in the last 50 years. So I think the rules committee will be very careful in terms of looking at what adjustments, if any, should be made."

Last year, the men's and women's rules committees approved a proposal to adopt international standards - a trapezoid lane and a 3-point line of 20 feet, 6 inches, nine inches beyond the current 3-point line.

In June, the rules committees backed off a plan that would have altered the lines this season, and delayed the changes to 2004-05. It also removed the change in the free throw lane from the proposal for women.

Both changes were tried in selected games early this season. The rules committee is surveying coaches and officials about the changes and seeking comments from those who participated in the experiment, said Marty Benson, the NCAA liaison to the men's rules committee. The committee will not be bound by the results of the survey.

The next committee meeting will be May 3-6 in Phoenix.