The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel has approved a proposal from the basketball rules committee that will not allow an airborne player falling out of bounds - or into the backcourt - to be granted a timeout.
This proposal, to take effect during the 2006-07 season, should please plenty of fans who didn't like seeing desperation timeouts called, as well as coaches, who have had precious timeouts burned by confused players.
"Players usually call it at the most inopportune time - in the first half or when the shot clock is running down," said Kansas University coach Bill Self, a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches board of directors.
"It depends on the situation," he added. "In the first half, it's not a good play. In the second half, if you need the possession, it's not as bad. I don't get worked up about it either way."
Still, Self said he sees it as "a good rule."
"The way the rule is, you can call a time out as long as you have a foot in bounds," Self said. "It's going to take away the guy flying out of bounds, leaving the floor and getting a timeout.
"You can still call a timeout. It just will not be granted," Self said, indicating no technical foul would be called for trying to call a time out when no foot is in bounds. "It will take some education. We'll go over it with the players. We'll say, 'Let's go over this year's rules.' It's like walking, palming, anything. You go over it."
¢ Kansas 10th in attendance: KU ranked 10th in the country in attendance for men's basketball home games in statistics released by the NCAA.
The Jayhawks drew drew 260,800 fans in 16 dates for an average of 16,300 fans, which happens to be the capacity of Allen Fieldhouse.
Kentucky ranked first with an average of 22,763 followed by Syracuse (21,587), North Carolina (20,239), Louisville (18,316), Tennessee (17,954), Maryland (17,174), Wisconsin (17,142), Indiana (16,949) and Illinois (16,618).
As far as the rest of the Big 12: Texas ranked 22nd nationally with an average of 13,024 fans followed by Iowa State, 26th, 11,895; Oklahoma 27th, 11,805; Oklahoma State, 28th, 11,591; Nebraska, 48th, 9,417; Missouri, 63rd, 8,369; Texas A&M;, 65th, 8,133; Kansas State, 67th, 7,664; Texas Tech, 71st, 7,279; Baylor, 86th, 6,357.
Colorado was not in the top 100 provided by the NCAA. The Buffs drew a paltry average of 5,018 fans in 14 dates.
The 326 teams in Div. I men's basketball drew an average of 5,198 fans per game, 103 more than a year ago.
Tennessee had the biggest rise in attendance in one year. Bruce Pearl's team averaged 17,954 fans - 5,729 more per game that the previous season's squad coached by Buzz Peterson.
The Big 12 ranked fifth among all conferences in home attedance at 10,121 per game, up 360 fans per game from the previous season. The Big Ten led the way with 12,581 fans per home game.
¢ Self lauds Huggins: KU coach Bill Self laughs at reports he and Kansas State's Bob Huggins will not get along as coaches of rival schools.
"Bob and I don't have a problem at all. I don't know why we would," Self said. "I was able to spend some time with Bob and Mike (Anderson, new Missouri coach) at the Big 12 meetings. Bob will do everything he can for his program, and we will do all we can for ours. It is not personal at all. We will enjoy the competition."
Self thinks programs at MU and KSU are going to improve quickly.
"I think the bar has been raised, and rightfully so," Self said. "People ask me, 'Is it good for Kansas?' I say, 'Yes, it's good for Kansas.' Nobody in our league should go 10-6 and 9-7 in the conference and not get in the tournament. Somebody who wins the league should not be a No. 4 seed (in NCAAs). We need our league to get better. Bob and Mike, based on their track record, will bring instant credibility to both programs. I think coach Huggins will bring instant national interest to our league. These are all good things for our league."