Wednesday, October 8, 2003

3-point goal line moving back

Would increase distance to 20-6

By Steve Herman
The Associated Press

The 3-point line in college basketball is about to be moved 9 inches farther from the basket beginning in the 2004-05 season. Barring unexpected dissent by the NCAA's two smallest divisions, the new line will be set at 20 feet, 6 inches.

The championships committees of all three divisions decided to keep the rectangular free throw lane, rejecting a switch to the trapezoidal lane used internationally.

"In Division I, it's essentially done," Marty Benson, the NCAA liaison to the basketball rules committee, said Tuesday.

"In Division II and III, the management councils have to look at it and either approve what the championships committee did or change what the championships committee did."

Earlier this year, South Carolina coach Dave Odom, a rules committee member, said the extra 9 inches might discourage marginal shooters from taking longer shots.

"That would make the shot more meaningful," he said.

The management councils meet Oct. 21-22. If they agree, the changes in all three divisions will take effect in the 2004-05 season. If they don't, the matter will be decided by the NCAA executive committee Oct. 31.

That committee's options include approving the change for only the divisions that passed it, approving it for all three divisions or rejecting it for all three, Benson said. It's unlikely Divisions II and III will not go along, he said.

Another proposal would cut from 16 to eight the number of predetermined sites for the first two rounds of the women's Division I tournament.

If approved by the Division I management council and the executive committee, that change would take effect for the 2005 tournament.

"It's just the evolution of the championship. It creates more neutral sites for the championship," said Scotty Rogers, assistant director of the Division I women's basketball championship committee.

"You have a little more neutrality when only one of those teams could potentially play at home."

The men's first and second rounds already are played at eight sites.

"The only difference, and it's a major difference, is that the women's proposal is for predetermined sites, meaning the host institution could play at home," Rogers said. "The men's tournament does not allow that."

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