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Enforcement of bench rules could result in technicals this season

INDIANAPOLIS -- Cursing or venturing onto the court could
draw college basketball coaches a quick technical foul this season.


The NCAA is making bench decorum a point of emphasis for 2007-08
and warns coaches to expect a whistle without warning for a variety
of unsportsmanlike actions.


Referees who are consistent in enforcing the rules will be
rewarded.


"The bench decorum rules, which include staying in the
prescribed coaching box, have been interpreted in various ways for
some time," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, the president of the
National Association of Basketball Coaches, said Thursday. "This
initiative for strengthened, consistent enforcement has significant
ramifications. Coaches and game officials who do not strictly
adhere to the rules will be penalized."


The actions that can draw a technical include disrespectfully
addressing an official or attempting to influence an official's
decision, using abusive or profane language, taunting an opponent,
inciting undesirable crowd reactions and coming onto the court
without permission of an official to attend to an injured player.


The rules will also apply to assistant coaches, other team
personnel and players on the bench.


Officials who consistently enforce the rules will be given
preferential consideration for conference and NCAA tournament
assignments.


"This is something that coaches always ask for, and that's to
have game officials enforce the rules that are already in place,"
Boeheim said.


The policy has been endorsed by the Collegiate Commissioners
Association and the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.


"As coaches, we are fully accountable for our actions," said
Oklahoma women's coach Sherri Coale, the president of the WBCA.
"With strengthened enforcement, coaches will be more conscious of
their demeanor knowing that a penalty will result from
inappropriate behavior."