Big East Approves Six-Foul Rule

The Big East Conference will allow basketball players six fouls instead of five next season in an experiment that critics say will hurt underdogs by making it harder to get other teams’ star players out of games.

The six-foul rule and the proposed use of the 45-second clock rather than a hand count to measure 10-second violations were approved by a vote of Big East coaches.

The coaches rejected a third experimental rule that would have given players three free throws instead of two if they were fouled while shooting three-pointers.

The National Collegiate Athletic Assn. must still officially adopt the experimental rules, which were approved in May by the NCAA Rules Committee, but that is considered a formality.


Approval will be automatic for regular-season conference games, but special permission will be needed for the Big East’s postseason tournament. The experimental rules could be used in non-conference games with the opposing coach’s permission.

The Trans America Athletic Conference has also approved the changes, and Brad Davis, a spokesman for the Southeastern Conference, said the SEC also plans to use the rules, although it has not yet formally requested permission to do so.

The rules will not be used in the NCAA tournament.