By Marisela Burgos
INDIANAPOLIS – After an Indiana Pacers star seriously injured himself during a basketball game in Las Vegas, there are some university representatives who are requesting possible changes.
Over the weekend, University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari spoke on ESPN’s The Mike Lupica Show. Coach Calipari said every practice facility and every arena should–across the board–make some changes to their backboard stanchions.
“If anybody’s practice arena now has a 4-foot base off away from the baseline, I wouldn’t send my child there,” Calipari said.
During the roughly seven-minute radio interview, Calipari talked about the costly decision the university made a few years ago to change their equipment after one of their players was seriously injured.
“This now should be an immediate…immediate….I don’t care what it costs you in your arena,” Calipari said. “If it costs you $500,000 to put those stanchions, backboards, the base back, then spend it.”
The NCAA confirmed, this afternoon, their rules require that the base of the backboard system should be at least 4 feet away from the end line. The NCAA declined to comment about Coach Calipari’s comments on The Mike Lupica Show.
Ryan Galloy, director of sports medicine at Butler University, believes their backboard stanchions are more than 4 feet away from the line. He said Paul George’s injury should spark important conversations among universities and the NCAA.
“You should always try to take a negative in situations like this and try to make it a positive. How can we prevent it? I think too many people are blowing it off as ‘hey injuries happen’,” Galloy said.
Galloy said about a year and a half ago, one of their players badly injured his neck, during an away game. He said it happened after the player hit the goal support.
“It doesn’t happen a lot, you know, but we don’t want it to happen at all for that reason,” Galloy said.
FOX59 also checked with the NBA. A representative told FOX59 their rules require that nothing should in the way within 4 feet from the baseline. They also said nearly all of their arenas have stanchions that are 65 inches or more away from the baseline.