DESTIN, Fla. — Seemingly every year here at SEC meetings, Kentucky coach John Calipari throws out an idea that’s outside the box. Far outside the box. And this year was no different: Let coaches challenge foul calls.
Calipari said the model would be what the NBA’s D-league does. Coaches get one challenge in the fourth quarter and then again if there’s overtime. They can challenge basically anything, including fouls, other than flopping.
“I challenge that call, and then they’ve got to go to the monitor and check it out,” Calipari said. “If you’re wrong you lose your timeout.”
Calipari brought it up in the coaches’ meeting. The D-league has had the challenge system in effect for three years.
“That was one of the things I thought we need to explore more,” Calipari said. “Why not being the first college league that does the replay, now be the first college league to challenge calls.”
Georgia coach Mark Fox, who is on the NCAA rules committee, was asked if Calipari’s suggestion had any traction.
“That doesn’t have a lot traction,” Fox said somewhat dryly, then added: “Matter of fact it has none. It’s not something we’re considering.”
The SEC is going to go a collaborative central replay system this year, where on-site reviews (which have been happening for years) will now confer with the home office in Birmingham. It’s modeled on the football system that seemed to work well for the SEC last year.
But that will be as far as things go for now.
“Yeah, we’re not throwing out the red flag to challenge,” Fox said.
Last year Calipari, seeking to increase interest in the SEC tournament, suggested holding it in the preseason, rather than March. That idea also didn’t go very far.
This year, the replay challenge idea apparently wasn’t the only, uh, creative idea that Calipari suggested in the coaches meeting.
“There’s some other thing I told them I wouldn’t mention to you,” Calipari said. “Out of the box stuff they said, ‘Stop, don’t even say that, stop.’ “