The NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee recommended reducing the shot clock from 35 to 30 seconds Friday, the biggest step in a series of changes aimed at speeding up a game that has reached historic lows in scoring.
The new shot clock will be in place the next two seasons, the first time it has been reduced since dropping from 45 to 35 seconds in 1993-94.
The changes still must be approved by the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Committee, which meets next month.
"We don't think it's going to cause a huge bump," Belmont coach and rules committee chair Rick Byrd said. "We think it's a part of the puzzle, just a piece that helps us get the game headed in the right direction."
Scoring dropped to 67.5 points per game in 2012-13, lowest since 1952 — long before the three-point shot and any kind of shot clock. Scoring bumped up to 71.5 points per game in 2013-14, but dipped again last season to 67.7.
Some coaches have been concerned that the shorter shot clock would lead to more "soft" pressure in the backcourt and zone defenses to slow teams down, along with more last-second desperation shots to beat the shot clock. The new clock also may impact teams that play methodically.
But other coaches have praised the new clock, particularly after testing it out during the postseason tournaments. Byrd said 64 percent of coaches surveyed were in favor of the shortened clock.
The committee recommended reducing second-half timeouts by one per team and removing timeout calls in live-ball situations. Timeouts called within 30 seconds of a scheduled media timeout also would be counted as a media timeout.
The committee also proposed that teams get a total of 10 seconds to move the ball to the frontcourt, a limit on the time teams have to replace disqualified players and an elimination of the 5-second, closely guarded rule while players are dribbling the ball.
Women may go to four 10-minute quarters
The NCAA women's basketball rules committee is recommending that women's games be played in four 10-minute quarters beginning with the 2015-16 season.
The committee believes the four-quarter format, which has been endorsed by the WBCA's board of directors, will enhance the flow of the game.
Simpson, Streb share Wells Fargo lead
Webb Simpson chipped in twice for birdie and shot a 5-under 67 for a share of the second-round lead with Robert Streb in the Wells Fargo Championship. Streb had a 69 to match Simpson at 10-under 134 at Quail Hollow.
Martin Flores (67) and Patrick Rodgers (68) were tied for third at 8 under. Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson were three shots back. Mickelson had a 66, and McIlroy matched Simpson's 67. Will MacKenzie also was 7 under after a 68.
… Kevin Sutherland and Jeff Maggert both eagled the par-5 11th hole and shared the second-round lead in the Regions Tradition at 10 under. Sutherland shot a 6-under 66 at Shoal Creek to catch up to Maggert, the opening-round leader in the first of the Champions Tour's five majors. Maggert birdied the final two holes for his second straight 67.
Michael Allen was three strokes back after a 67, and defending champion Kenny Perry had a 69 to join Bernhard Langer and Fred Funk at 5 under. Langer shot 66, and Funk 69.
… Alison Lee shot a 4-under 67 to take a two-stroke lead in the LPGA Tour's Kingsmill Championship. Lee had a 9-under 133 total. Minjee Lee and Perrine Delacour were tied for second. Minjee Lee had a 67, and Delacour shot 68.
Biffle, Bowyer make All-Star race
Greg Biffle and Clint Bowyer raced their way in to the $1 million All-Star event, and Danica Patrick won the fan vote to complete the field for Saturday night's race. Biffle won the first 20-lap segment in Friday night's Sprint Showdown. The race was for all drivers not already qualified for the All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Biffle then took his car to the garage and watched the final 20-lap segment, which was won by Bowyer. Biffle led every lap of the first segment, but Bowyer needed a three-wide pass to get to the lead.
Brady wants to call Goodell as witness
Tom Brady wants to call Commissioner Roger Goodell as a witness in the appeal of the four-game suspension he was handed for "Deflategate." The NFL players union said in its appeal of the penalties that Goodell can't hear the appeal because one of the issues is his credibility. The union also said in the letter released Friday it will call league vice president Troy Vincent, who handed down the punishment. Although the collective bargaining agreement gives him the right to do that, the appeal letter claimed Goodell cannot remain impartial because he will called as a witness.
AROUND THE HORN
Media: The official end of the Bill Simmons era at ESPN came Friday: He will be paid through the end of September, when his contract expires, but he will no longer run the Grantland website or do any other work for the company.
Track: Justin Gatlin sent a message to Usain Bolt on Friday — both with his legs and his mouth. Gatlin lived up to the preseason hype by winning the 100 meters in a world-leading 9.74 seconds at the Diamond League opener.
Tennis: Eighth-seeded Stan Wawrinka beat No. 1 Rafael Nadal 7-6 (7), 6-2 in the Italian Open quarterfinals.