[Moderated by Matt Jones]
Last night was painful for anyone watching, and all of the coverage today has not helped lessening the blow of Noel’s injury. While Noel’s injury was certainly a freak play, one glaring issue several basketball minds have discussed in the hours after the injury was that this is a perfect time to debate the proximity of basketball stanchions (supporting posts) to the playing area. The 2013 season has brought two horrific injuries as a result of players colliding or attempting to dodge the support post. On Jan 12, Rotnei Clarke of Butler gruesomely collided with the bottom of the post after driving hard to the basket. He landed neck-first on the padding, and luckily only suffered a concussion instead of more extensive injury to this cervical region.
Now, we have Nerlens Noel who shifted sideways to avoid slamming forcefully into the post, only to have his knee buckle as result of the awkward shift of his body. Two premier players have had injuries that had the chance to be career-ending as a result of these posts being too close for players to have any sort of chance to safely react to them in fast paced situations.
With this in mind, It is time for the NCAA to look at the opportunity to make a rule change for baskets to be mandatorily placed several more feet back than they are currently. Any inconveniences that this rule may cause for arenas or colleges is worth it to protect the college athletes that they make ridiculous profits off of (different topic for a different day). A few extra costs or repairs are well worth it to protect student-athletes from injuries. The current positioning just cost Nerlens Noel a serious amount of cash, the least the NCAA can do is pony up an equal amount of money to stop this type of injury from happening.
Keep praying for Nerlens @JayHochKSR
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