Give Women Basketball Players a Break?

Lady Vols Coach Pat Summitt spent a career promoting women's sports and trying to achieve parity with the men's game. Her nemesis in recent years is evidently not wedded to the idea.

Geno Auriemma, the Connecticut women's basketball coach, told the Hartford Courant that he proposes that the rim be lowered 7 inches for women's games to increase scoring and make the game more exciting. He says it would make it easier for women to shoot layups, putting them closer to the basket. He compares it to women's volleyball, in which the net is 7 inches lower than the men's game. Men basketball players are usually taller than women and have a higher shooting percentage than women players, he says. He says making it easier for women to score would increase fan interest.

Auriemma said he would propose the idea to the NCAA rules committee along with his suggestion that the shot clock move from 30 to 24 seconds.

Some women's coaches interviewed by The New York Times did not reject the idea out of hand but said lowering basketball goals for women's games would be a financial burden for some schools, not to mention high school women's basketball.