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January 16, 2013

HERTZEL COLUMN-NCAA in need of changes

MORGANTOWN — Some-times you wonder.

West Virginia University’s men’s basketball team has a wild and wacky week this week as it tries against some pretty tough circumstances to get its team on the right track.

It isn’t just that on Tuesday they flew to Ames, Iowa, for a 9 p.m. game at Iowa State and then play three days later, at 2 p.m. Saturday, at Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind.

That would make more sense if they were allowed to stay the extra day out on the road, but because of NCAA rules they have to fly back home following that 9 p.m. game in Ames for a single day, then fly out again Friday to play at Purdue.

“I’d rather not do it,” coach Bob Huggins admitted, explaining that it came about because it was a chance to play on CBS and that they couldn’t find any other date to fit such a game in.

Huggins said he expects the NCAA to look into making some rules changes, including this one, in the near future.

“I think with conference expansion and the different geography in college sports now, some rules have become antiquated,” he noted.

Indeed, with some conferences now stretching from coast to coast, with this Iowa State trip the shortest one on the Mountaineers’ Big 12 itinerary, the ruling body is going to have to make some new allowances for travel before it wears teams and students out.

“I think it would have been advantageous for us to stay rather than come back at times,” Huggins said. “I think you’ll see rules changes as the landscape of college athletics continues to change.”

oooooo

Former WVU safety Robert Sands, now with the Cincinnati Bengals but on the injured list, was arrested Jan. 4 and charged with fourth-degree assault for allegedly assaulting his wife at their residence.

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