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Tuesday Happy Hour is Awed by Zone Blocking and the Uselessness of Changing the NCAA's Basketball Rules

Things are a little on the quiet side today. Nothing like a balmy June day to slow up your news feeds and your Maize n Brew Twitter accounts. However, you're thirsty, so here's what's ON TAP:

Michigan Football:

Michigan recruits, targets shine at Nike Camp -  Detroit Free Press

Michigan Basketball:

John Beilein wants his team challenged - Let's see... Kansas, UConn, MSU, OSU, Utah, and the Old Spice invitational. I think you've gotten your wish, John. One intersting quote from Beilein:

"We think that we'll have protection on both sides (with the Kansas game), and we didn't really have protection on either side last year."

Beilein's referencing the three game stretch at the end of the season where Michigan played Penn State, at Connecticut and MSU in six days. Beilein indicated he'd talked with the Big Ten Schedulers and Michigan won't face a murders row prior or after the Kansas game on Dec 8. But in all fairness to our buddies over in State College, PSU isn't supposed to be any good at basketball, so technically, that PSU game was protection. I'm just sayin.

Michigan Hockey:

The schedule's out! Hockey season contributor Michigan Hockey Net has your run down. As does Yost Built.

College Football:

Tomahawk Nation explains the Zone Blocking Scheme - Holy hell is this awesome. SBN's outstanding Seminoles blog, Tomahawk Nation, breaks down the 'Nole's Zone Blocking scheme in detail that has even Phil Steele Cringing. Epic, epic work, and a must read for any football fan. Especially those of us who, you know, run a zone blocking scheme (even if it's a different type).

Pat Forde may make no sense, but some of his colleagues do. Finally, a clear headed column on College Football scheduling that doesn't bore or go off on a self righteous tangent. Thank you Mr. Maisel.

College Basketball:

The NCAA approves 3 new Rules Changes for Men's Basketball - Howler monkeys + type writer = NCAA Rules Committee. The Committee approved the "charging zone" rule, instituted a revised inured player/free throw rule, and allowed the expanded use of replay to review flagrant fouls.

I'm sorry, how is this helpful? The problem isn't the rules, gentlemen. The problem is the lack of training and understanding of the rules by your referees. Ed Hightower alone is responsible for more delay, anger and misunderstanding of what it means to commit a "foul" than any revision of the rule book can fix. Before you screw with the rule book, fix the refs.

That said, the injured player rule is a joke. If you hack the hell out of a player to the extent he's injured, then why does the opposing coach even have a choice who shoots? That make no sense to me. The coach of the injured player should have the option of choosing the shooter out of who is on the floor. Just my thought, and yes, I've considered the soccer style faking. Even with it, this seems more ethical.

The new rule basically instituting a "no fly" zone for charging, in theory, is a good idea. Here's it in a nutshell "secondary defenders must establish position outside the area between the backboard and the front of the rim to draw a charge call." Sounds simple, but how many times have you seen a ref screw this up when the player was OBVIOUSLY under the rim before this rule has been implemented? The rules committee has screwed this up in its own, unique way. Instead of clearly defining the "no fly zone" by doing something simple, like painting an arc under the hoop to clearly define where you can and cannot draw a charge, they're leaving it up to the refs to figure this out on their own. This is not, even remotely, a good idea. What you will see is an even greater number of personal fouls assessed to defenders because they have no clear understanding of where the basket is and neither do the refs. Paint a line. It's easy. It's clear. It makes this an easy call. No. We can't. We're the Rules Committee.

Finally, I have no idea how the expanded replay is going to help. If the crap that happened between North Carolina and Duke doesn't result in an ejection, but Manny Harris gets the boot, the problem is the refs, not the rules.