snailtimeWhile attending the TCU-Texas basketball game this past week, noticed how the “flow of the game” was so often interrupted by timeouts.  How many timeouts?

Well, each team gets 5 (that makes 10 total).  However, there are also four “media timeouts” per half, plus the coach timeouts, plus in the 2nd half the first coach time out automatically becomes a fifth media timeout. For the NCAA tournament, they also make the first coach timeout in the first half a full media timeout. So we are talking about ten media timeouts in most games, plus additional coach timeouts.

While I am not a mathematician, I think that means there could possibly be 20 timeouts in a game, not to mention times when the officials have to stop play to check the monitors to reviews certain plays.

Who so many?  Well, at least 10 of them are $$ related.  The other are coaching discretion, though the flurry of them at at end of a close game often seems like over-coaching at times.

Ultimately, the NCAA is to blame. This again is a case of where the NCAA has been too weak rather than too strong. It needs to place stronger parameters, for the good of the game and the experience of the athletes. If this means taking a bit less money from TV so be it.

My guess is that moving to fewer timeouts and better game flow would actually increase viewership and allow TV and the NCAA to recoup revenue lost through fewer ads by higher ad prices. But even if that’s not true, the NCAA needs to proactively return to a timeout policy that allows the games to be played the way they were intended.