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September 14, 1994 - Image 15

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The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-14

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The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 14, 1994 -15

.NBA rules to shorten
3-point line to 22 feet

THE SPORTING VIEws
K.C., Dallas to vie for

ol

CHICAGO (AP) - The NBA's
competition committee Tuesday rec-
ommended shortening the 3-pointline
so it would be a uniform 22 feet from
the basket, a move to increase scoring
and ease congestion in the lane.
The line is currently 22 feet in the
corners and extends to 23 feet, 9 inches
at the top of the key. By shortening
the distance, Rod Thorn, the NBA's
vice president of operations, said
teams will be forced to play more
defense on the outside.
"It is significant when you move
* he 3-point line even though it is only
a foot and nine inches," Thorn said
after a four-hour meeting.
"I think we will have a little more
offense and a little less congestion on
the court. It will be somewhat easier
for players to move. Therefore we
project we will have a little more
offense. The 3-point line will be more
inviting and you will have to guard
people out there.".
Thorn said the vote to shorten the
line was not quite unanimous. He said
there were few dissenters.
"I think their basic premise was
that we've had the line for a long time
and it has served us well. Maybe it's
a little too easy from 22 feet," Thorn
said.
"I think you are going to have to
have people who can shoot. Our shoot-
ing percentages have been going down
and with this shorter line you are going
to see more taken and more made,"
Thorn said. "In international basketball
you have to guard the line and it can
lessen the congestion in the lane."
The 3-point shot was adopted in
the NBA for the 1979-80 season.

The committee also recommended
that a shooter fouled on a 3-point shot
be awarded three free throws instead
of two.
Those rule changes must be ap-
proved by a two-thirds vote of the
NBA's Board of Governors at a meet-
ing next month, and Thorn said he
expected them to pass.
Other recommended rule changes
include changing the "clear path"
foul rules to include contact in the
backcourt so a player who is breaking
up court can't be grabbed; requiring
that the second or more of back-to-
back timeouts where the ball has not
yet been inbounded be limited to no
more than 45 seconds; ejecting any
player who commits two unneces-
sary-contact fouls during one game.
A recommendation to enlarge or
change the shape of the foul lane was
tabled so it could be studied more
thoroughly, said Thorn.
The league also will implement
several measures to address fighting
and physical play, including a one-
game suspension and maximum
$20,000 fine for any player who leaves
the bench during an altercation.
These measures will be effective
with preseason play this season.
Technical foul fine amounts will
be increased to $500. The current fine
is $100 for the first in a game and
$150 for the second.
There will be stricter enforcement
of technical fouls for taunting and
other behavior that could lead to fight-
ing; hand checking will be prohibited
from the end line in the backcourt to
the opposite foul line; illegal screens
will be called more closely.

NFL Championship
By PAUL BARGER 7. New Orleans won't get their
DAILY SPOtns WRIER chance to win a playoff game. The
The NFL season has provided a Saints are the only NFL Team never to
great amountofexcitement in its early make itpast the firstround.Free agency
stages. Defense has been at a mini- has decimated one of the greatest
-mum thus far as teams have been linebacking corps ever, so it is once
lighting up the scoreboards. Hard- again time to rebuild.
ened veterans like Joe Montana, Dan 6. The Lions will continue getting
Marino, and Randall Cunningham a lack of support from their fans.
have shared the spotlight with spec- 5. The AFC central will once again
tacular newcomers Marshall Faulk, establish itself as the division of me-
Drew Bledsoe, and Rick Mirer. diocrity. Nobody deserves to winthis
Fans have a lot to look forward to division. The Steelers may prove to
and can anticipate a great many sur- be the best by the end of the year, but
prises during the year. Here are ten it will only be because the other three
things fans can expect to see during teams have very limited talent. The
the rest of the NFL Season: Oilers and Bengals are clearly two of
10. The Buffalo Bills will not par- the worst teams in the league.
ticipate in the Super Bowl. Many fans 4. Marshall Faulk will run away
will be relieved to hear this since the with the rookie of the year honors.
Bills have lost the big game four years Faulk is an awesome back that will
in a row. Buffalo never had a chance make his presence felt for year' to
in the first week of the season vs. the come. He has run for over 100 yards
Jets and barely squeaked by the Patri- in both of his games thus far and
ots in week two. should continuing getting better. This
9. Contrary to preseason consen- is all contingent on the assumption
sus, The Los Angeles Raiders will not that Faulk does not fall victim tothe
make the playoffs this year. Obvi- Colts' rookie curse and can make it
ously those that predicted the Raiders through the entire season.
to be the team to dethrone the Bills did 3. Changing their name to Ari-
not realize that Los Angeles has zona will not put the Cardinals into
absolutely no defense. After getting the playoffs. Buddy Ball does 'not
manhandled by the 49ers, 44-14, in seem to be working in the desert'and
the opening Monday night game, the the Cardinals will stumble to a ┬žub-
Raiders were embarrassed by the .500 record. If defense were all that
Seahawks, 38-9. mattered, Arizona would be a very
8. It will be a season to cheer in New good football team. Unfortunately for
York. Before the season began, many Ryan, in football you need an offense.
thoughtthattheJets'early season sched- He just doesn't have one.
ule would knock them out of legitimate 2. AFC Playoff Teams: Miami,
playoffcontention.Games againstteams New York, Pittsburgh, San Diego,
with Jim Kelly, John Elway, and Dan Denver, Buffalo. The Broncos, are
Marino are certainly causes for con- starting out 0-2, but they are too good
cern. However, the Jets have answered to finish behind the Seahawks.
their doubters in impressive fashion. NFC Playoff Teams: Dallas,
The Jets have had one of their best starts New York, Green Bay, Minnesota,
in recent memory, handling Kelly and San Francisco, Atlanta. Detroit's vic-
the Bills 23-3 in the opener and show- tory over Atlanta in week one may be
ing their character in an overtime win enough to give them the final wild
against Elway and the Broncos in week card spot, but the lack of talent o1 the
two. offensive line will continue to haunt
Giant fans should be elated with them throughout the season.
their undefeated start considering the 1. TheDallas Cowboys will notwin
glum preseason outlook. Dave Brown the Super Bowl this year. Troy Aikinan
has shown a great amount of poise and company will once again win the
stepping in for future hall-of-famerPhil NFC Championship, but the Chiefs
Simms and the defense has made great outstanding defense combined with the
strides. The Giants have a good chance experience and talent of Joe Montana
of going 10-6 and making the playoffs. will give Kansas City its first title,

sd'AP PHOTO
Defensive end Reggie White leads the Pakckers' charge in the NFC Central.

Barry (Switzer) S
IRVING, Texas (AP) - Forget
Billy Sims or Thurman Thomas. The
best running back Barry Switzer saw
in the Big Eight Conference was the
onehe faces next Monday night,Barry
Sanders.
"I remember watching film when
I was at Oklahoma getting ready to
play Oklahoma State," Switzer said.
"I saw this back run a kickoff back
100 yards. Then a little while later he
did it again.
"I walked over to our coaches in

says Barry (Sanders) is the best he has ever seen

another room and I told them 'you
better hope Thurman Thomas doesn't
get hurt. Look at this freshman cat run."
Switzer said Tuesday, "Barry
Sanders is the best back I saw out of
the Big Eight Conference I've seen in
the last 30 years."
Sanders and the Detroit Lions take
on Switzer's Dallas Cowboys Monday
night in Texas Stadium, home of the
NFL's top running back, Emmitt Smith.
"Both are great players," Switzer

said. "Barry doesn't get to touch the
ball like Emmitt does. If Barry did his
stats would be better. Barry always
makes things happen. His supporting
cast isn't as great as Emmitt's.
"All great backs look the same
when they have no place to run."
Switzer recalled Sanders always
gave Oklahoma trouble.
"His teams had trouble winning
because the defense wasn't good
enough," Switzer said. "Buthe would

scare you."
Switzer said Oklahoma State got
Sanders locked up before he knew
about him.
"Nobody had a chance to get him,"
Switzer said. "Oklahoma State got a
film of Barry out of a Wichita high
school from the coach. I think they
destroyed the film after they saw what
a great player he was. Nobody saw
him."~

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