NCAA officials announced today that the Final Four will be played with playground-style, metal chain nets in hopes of preventing the costly practice of vandals from the championship team cutting the nets down.
"We can no longer afford to have the nets removed year after year after year," said Dan Guerrero, Director of the NCAA Tournament committee. "It's an added cost during tough economic times. And if the coaches aren't going to police their players, as we have asked numerous times, we had to step up and act."
The premium string nets traditionally used in the Final Four cost as much as $9. The metal chain nets cost almost twice that, but the NCAA won't have to pay for new nets again for years.
"We tested a set of cheaper cloth nets. A $3 one I found at Wal-Mart," said Guerrero. "It was red, white and blue. But the ball got stuck in the net a lot and wouldn't fall through to the floor. We don't want to slow the game down, so metal it is."
Guerrero says the NCAA may also ban dunking on the baskets used at the Final Four.
"These kids have no respect for property," he said. "I mean, one or two dunks fine. But they do it all game long. They dunk and hang on the rims, as though rims and backboards come from some magical land where everything is free. No, they're expensive. And the players are ruining them. I don't want to hear them complaining when they break one day and the kids have nowhere to play."
Duke forward Kyle Singler said he is disappointed about the NCAA's decision.
"I'm not sure how much I want to play at the Final Four anymore," he said. "It used to be a fun place to play, but all these rules suck. Me and Jon Scheyer are going to put graffiti all over the backboards late tonight. That'll show 'em what we think about their rules."