Pretty big news in the world of college basketball today as the NCAA men's basketball rules committee voted in favor of recommending that the three-point line be moved from 19 feet, 9 inches to 20 feet, 9 inches beginning in the 2008-2009 season.
The committee considered moving the arc to 20-6, like the international 3-point line, but opted for 20-9 in the end. Also, while there had been discussion of widening the lane, that was bypassed with the idea that moving the 3-point line back will create a similar effect in player spacing.
"It's primarily a spacing issue and we feel it will open the game up a little more," Larry Keating, University of Kansas associate athletic director and chairman of the NCAA men's rules committee, said on a media conference call. "Unless it violates financial or safety issues, it's pretty much done."
If the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel approves the rule change on May 25, it will signify the first alteration of the three-point line since its inception in 1986.
I guess I'll go ahead and say what everyone else will repeat, that this has been a long time coming. Of course it's much easier to support the change now then it would have been to in say 2004, when Larry O'Bannon, Francisco Garcia and Taquan Dean were all still living in Minardi Hall.
Aside from the obvious positive of reducing the barrage of chip shot three-point attempts, this rule change will allow players who can break down defenders off the dribble to shine. The change highlights skills in that the real shooters will be the ones unaffected by the added distance, and the ball handlers will benefit greatly from the added space.
Great news for the game, I only wish it could go into effect this season.