MORGANTOWN — Bob Huggins has always had ideas for the game of college basketball. After 36 seasons as a head coach, the WVU men’s basketball coach may finally get the opportunity to be heard.
Huggins and with Missouri’s Cuonzo Martin were appointed to the board of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) on June 5.
Huggins was also recently appointed to the NCAA men’s basketball rules committee.
“They wouldn’t let me on anything before, because they thought I was too opinionated,” Huggins said last week, during his annual fantasy camp. “Now, they put me on everything.”
The NABC, founded in 1927 by then-Kansas coach “Phog” Allen, is considered to be a guardian of the game of sorts. The committee can help propose rule changes for the game or legislation changes within the NCAA. It releases its own all-America team at the end of each season.
Springfield College coach Charlie Brock is the NABC president, while Notre Dame’s Mike Brey and TCU’s Jamie Dixon are first and second vice presidents.
“Bob Huggins and Cuonzo Martin are two of college basketball’s most well-respected coaches and leaders,” NABC Executive Director Jim Haney said. “Their experience and insight will bring great value to the NABC Board of Directors as we work to serve the game.”
As far as ideas, it was just this past season when Huggins — following a 77-69 loss at Kansas in which the Mountaineers attempted only two free throws — put a national spotlight on his idea to have referees be made available to the media for questions following games.
“I just don’t know why officials want to be a part of the game but they don’t want to be a part of the game that has to answer,” Huggins said after the game. “Why aren’t they in here answering your questions? We’re going to bring 19-, 21-year-old kids in here who don’t get paid and you’re going to ask them questions. You’re going to ask Dax (Miles Jr.), ‘Why didn’t you shoot it?’ But they don’t want to get asked, ‘Why’d you call this? Why didn’t you call that?’ ”
Huggins also spoke recently of his idea to have four referees at each game, but rotate them during each media timeout between being on the floor and at the scorer’s table in charge of instant replay.
“The guy in charge of the replay, he officiates the replay and whatever he calls is what we go with,” Huggins said. “Just keep rotating guys around. Now, these older guys who can’t keep up with [younger players] are more rested. They can keep up and they’re more sharp and you’ve got a replay guy.”