Big East May Eliminate Foul-Out Rule


The Big East Conference may install an experimental basketball rule called the “no foul-out concept” for the 1990-91 season, according to a poll conducted by Newsday. The rule allows a player to stay in the game beyond his fifth foul, but it awards three free throws to make two to the player fouled.

“It would be no surprise that the Big East would vote it in since they are very television-conscious,” said Ed Steitz, chairman of the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. rules committee. “With a rule like this, the best players are kept in the game.”

The Big East will hold the first formal talks about the rule next week during the Big East meetings in Jacksonville, Fla. Big East Commissioner Dave Gavitt will then poll the coaches individually and the result is expected to become official by mid-June.


Only Pittsburgh, St. John’s and Villanova voted against the experimental rule. “I like the rule from one point of view, that it keeps the best players in the game, but I don’t like it because it makes the game become more of a free-throw contest,” St. John’s Coach Lou Carnesecca said.

Most of the coaches polled still would like to use the six-foul rule.

“The rule (six-foul rule) made no difference in how the game was played last year,” Georgetown Coach John Thompson said. “I think from a forward’s point of view this new rule is good. We have a sport where mistakes can get you thrown out of a game. I would be in favor of this, but I would like to see it on the national level where everybody is using it and conferences don’t have to vote in the rules every year.”

Boston College Coach Jim O’Brien, who last year sided with Pittsburgh’s Paul Evans by voting against the six-foul rule, changed his opinion this time.