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Do Colleges Need It?
December 09, 1957
NO: "College players would tense up in the last few seconds. It would tend to rush the game, lead to poor shots and to poor basketball."—Columbia Coach Lou Rossini
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December 09, 1957

Do Colleges Need It?

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ROSSINI: I think it would definitely be bad for the game.

NORTON: I say it would be good for the game.

ROSSINI: Kenny, if bad shots are taken, it's definitely bad.

NORTON: I can't go along. The same statements were made before we put in the 10-second rule to reduce the area where a team can hold the ball. They said a lot of teams were going to be penalized on the time, on getting the ball over the line, and so on. Today they don't even think about it.

ROSSINI: I still say a time limit would detract from the importance of coaching. And, with the same point in mind, I think the stronger teams will do much better. The weaker teams wouldn't have a chance to play possession ball in the crucial points of a game as they do now.

NORTON: Let's get back to the zone-defense argument. I don't understand the objections to it, except that if you use a certain type of offense against it the result is a dull game to watch and to play. But that type of attack is now old-fashioned against a zone. We're learning more about how to attack the zone because we see it so often now. The more you move and cut against a zone, the more you cut down its effectiveness. So I'm not worried about that possible effect of a time limit.

ROSSINI: Well, you may not be bothered by zones, but I wonder how the spectators will like it. You'll certainly see more of it. It stands to reason the defensive team will go back into a zone and dare the other fellows to take the long shot. You've got to consider all the possible effects of a major rule change like this, though the best argument against it is still the fact that it will rush the game, lead to poor shots, to poor basketball. Let's give the new rules a chance first.

NORTON: Some coaches feel that a time limit will take away some of the control they have over strategy—you know, holding the ball as long as you can because the other team can't score while you have it. Well, you can abuse that privilege and a time limit would put an end to that, and that's why I'm for it.

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