John Thompson, the sometimes irascible coach of Georgetown's basketball team, has a new pet peeve. Thompson is upset with the rules committee, he told Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun.
"I wouldn't care if they said we should have rules making us use a peach basket, or playing with nine-foot rims or widening the lane, but they should stick with them," Thompson said.
"Every year, they change the rules. It's almost as if they're trying to justify their jobs."
The changes will make for a new look this season. The shot clock has been cut to 35 seconds, the five-second count against a defensively challenged ballhandler has been thrown out, and the clock will be stopped after baskets in the last five minutes of regulation and overtime.
Most coaches figure the changes will benefit the powers, such as North Carolina, by making it tougher to overcome a late lead.
Said USC Coach George Raveling, a member of the rules committee: "I don't know if you're eliminating the Cinderella upsets, but you're certainly reducing that possibility."
Oklahoma State's Eddie Sutton: "We didn't even know this was going to happen. It would have been nice if they had told us."
Trivia time: Who holds the record for the most passes thrown in a pro football game?
Right on time: Former NBA referee Michael Constabile thinks he has solved the problem of the time lost in a basketball game because of the human reaction of clock operators.
Constabile, a referee for four seasons, was given a patent recently for a wireless timing system.
The system is keyed to the referee's whistle through a transmitter at the scorer's table. When the whistle is blown, the clock stops immediately.
Constabile said the system has a range of 1,000 feet and, because of the coded transmitter, there's less than one chance in a million someone in the stands could break the code with another whistle. The official timer would be used as a backup.
Whatever you say: Retired sportswriter George Kiseda recalls that Wilt Chamberlain, among his many other accomplishments, invented the new math.
Once, after a game in which he neglected to take a shot, Wilt said he shot 100%.
Wilt was told that 0 for 0 was 0% (actually it is no percentage).
"You call it 0%," Chamberlain said. "I call it 100%."
Sharpshooters: When you think of three-point shooters, you think of guards, such as Michael Adams of the Washington Bullets.
But NBA statistics through Friday list two big men leading the long-range shooters.
Seattle's 6-foot-10 Detlef Schrempf (.545) and 6-9 Sam Perkins (.536) are 1-2 in the league. Washington's 6-10 Tom Gugliotta is tied for sixth at .500.
Trivia answer: George Blanda of the Houston Oilers threw 68 passes against Buffalo in an American Football League game Nov. 1, 1964.
Quotebook: John Stiegderwald in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "The fact that more Americans would rather watch bowling than hockey says a lot more about Americans than it does about hockey."