Basketball: College basketball is undergoing a major overhaul next season.
Men’s teams will use a faster shot clock – 30 seconds instead of 35 seconds – and have fewer timeouts, while women’s teams will play four 10-minute quarters instead of two 20-minute halves.
All of it became official Monday when the NCAA’s Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a series of changes that everybody hopes will improve the game.
The men’s committee had spent months debating how to increase scoring and speed up play, especially late when flurries of fouls and timeouts made games seemingly drag on endlessly and needlessly.
The most notable change will be trimming the shot clock to 30 seconds, the first modification since it was cut from 45 seconds to 35 for the 1993-94 season.
The panel also approved cutting the number of second-half timeouts from four to three and eliminating some of the extra stoppages by using any timeout called within 30 seconds of a media timeout as the scheduled break.
Other changes in the men’s game include allowing refs to use replay reviews for potential shot-clock violations on made baskets throughout the entire game and to penalize players for faking fouls, making Class B technical fouls such as hanging on the rim and delay of game one-shot infractions instead of two, removing the prohibition on dunking during warmups and eliminating the 5-second rule when a player is dribbling.
In the women’s game, the quarters format will prompt additional changes.
Under the new format, a team would receive a two-shot bonus after their opponent commits five team fouls in each quarter. The number of team fouls would only carry over if a game goes into overtime.
Patriots release linebacker Spikes
NFL: The New England Patriots released linebacker Brandon Spikes as authorities investigated whether a Mercedes he owned was involved in an accident after the car was found abandoned in a highway median near where three people were hurt in a car that was rear-ended.
While it’s not clear who had been driving, the driver of Spikes’ 2011 Mercedes Maybach reported hitting a deer about 3:30 a.m. through the car’s OnStar on-board navigation system. The car was found with front-end damage in the median near Interstate 495 in Foxborough, Massachusetts, near Patriots team headquarters. Around the same time, troopers got a report that a car in the same area as the abandoned car had been rear-ended by a vehicle the occupants did not see. Three people – a 52-year-old man, a 32-year-old woman and a 12-year-old boy – were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, authorities said. So far, no charges have been filed.
• McDonald’s lawsuit dismissed: An attorney says a California judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by former San Francisco 49er Ray McDonald against a woman who accused him of rape.
Gloria Allred, who is representing the woman, said that Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge William Elfving had tossed all five causes of action in the lawsuit by McDonald.
The woman said McDonald carried her upstairs to his bedroom in December 2014 and sexually assaulted her. Prosecutors are reviewing the case.
• Weddle skips OTAs: Another San Diego Chargers practice, another day without Eric Weddle.
The team’s All-Pro safety missed the first day of the final week of OTAs. With the sessions being voluntary, Weddle isn’t subject to discipline.
That changes next week for the team’s three-day mandatory minicamp.
Weddle is upset with his contract situation. He’s entering the final year of his deal and the Chargers are not interested in offering an extension.
• Bears sign Porter: The Chicago Bears signed veteran cornerback Tracy Porter to a one-year contract.
Porter played four seasons in New Orleans, then one season each in Denver, Oakland and Washington.
Janzen qualifies for U.S. Open
Miscellany: Two-time champion Lee Janzen finally made it back to the U.S. Open from one of eight 36-hole qualifiers across the country.
Janzen, 50, had scores of 69-68 at Old Oaks and Century to earn the first of four spots available in the sectional qualifier in New York. The other three qualifiers were Jamie Lovemark, Pat Wilson and Rich Berberian Jr.
• New events for Winter Olympics: The IOC approved new events in snowboarding, Alpine skiing, speedskating and curling for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Big Air in snowboarding, mass start in speedskating, mixed doubles in curling, and a team skiing event were ratified.
• Rio tickets allocated: Only 35 percent of the tickets initially available for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics have been allocated to Brazilian fans after the first phase of sales.
Rio organizers said that almost 1.6 million tickets – of a total of about 4.5 million – have been awarded to fans after the first random draw.
Only 121 of the games’ 694 sessions have sold out.
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