The Top 20 things that need to be changed in the world of sports

By Trevor Amicone

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, March 31 2011 2:00 p.m. MDT

After the 2002 MLB All-Star game ended in a tie, Bud Selig panicked, trying to avoid the perception that baseball could be considered anything like soccer. Soon after, he decided that the solution was to make the game mean more by making the winner of the game (the National League or the American League) get home field advantage in the World Series.

The real solution would have been to just not allow a tie until the game was over, or just live with the possibilities that the exhibition game could be a little bit like soccer. Instead, now players who get nowhere near the World Series are determining who has home field advantage in it.

7. Cut the Major League Baseball season down to 140 games so they’re not playing baseball in November

The odds on favorites to win the World Series this year are the Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, and New York Yankees. At least Major League Baseball has decided to keep the World Series from being played in November, but the last week of October is still inhospitable for baseball in cold-weather places like Boston, Philly or New York.

Regardless of when the World Series is, 162 games is just a smidge too many, so 140 games is plenty to determine who the best teams in baseball are. Baseball may have a chance to make up some ground in public popularity if the NFL and the NBA go on strike in 2011. One of the biggest reasons that the NFL is more popular than Major League Baseball is the long baseball season. Make it shorter and you’ll have a chance to gain some younger fans while you have the chance.

6. Revamp the way that the NCAA investigates and punishes programs

The NCAA is a mess. It jumped all over Terrelle Pryor and Ohio State for selling property that was their property, but sat silently while big conferences ate up smaller, less powerful conferences and destroyed the hopes of many athletic programs. What needs to be changed the most is the way the NCAA punishes schools who violate their rules.

Scholarships are often taken away as a result of violations made by administrators and coaches. The NCAA claims that its purpose is to provide educational opportunities and that its athletes are students first. Meanwhile, it punishes schools by taking away those educational opportunities.

As Jay Bilas of ESPN said, is as ridiculous as punishing a hospital by taking away its beds for a certain amount of time so that they can help less patients. If you have to take scholarships away from the football team, give them to the school to be used outside the athletic department. But only if you truly believe that you are in it to give prospective students educational opportunities.

5. While we’re letting NBA players pick and choose where they play, let’s just disband half the league by contracting 15 teams

We’re going to get to this more at No. 2, but let’s face it, the days of NBA Finals in Utah are over so long as the NBA stays the way it is. Half of the league has no chance to win an NBA championship, so let’s just eliminate the teams who will never be able to attract the big stars that are now flocking to the big cities of the NBA

In fact, does anyone legitimately believe that anyone outside the Lakers, Spurs, Mavericks, Heat, Magic, Bulls or Celtics has a chance to win the NBA finals this year? So why not throw the Thunder in there and throw out everyone else. Those are the only games that anyone watches anyways. The NBA’s lost two-thirds of its markets anyway, why not just get rid of them?

4. Put an NFL team in L.A. already

Los Angeles is the second-largest market in America. How is there not an NFL franchise there? You’ve got two baseball teams, two basketball teams, a hockey team, a soccer team (for crying out loud), yet no football team. There are already plans to build a $1 billion stadium in downtown Los Angeles, you might as well put a team and some fans in it. Enough said.

3. Implement instant replay in Major League Baseball

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