There have been a rash of flagrant fouls and flying elbows this season, which have caused alarm among NCAA and conference officials. Those elbows, and a notable face stomping, however, are part of the bigger issue of how physical the game has become, particularly in heated conference games.
And those elbows are beginning to be viewed as the poster child of a larger issue. Don Shea, a regional supervisor of NCAA basketball officials until he retired in 2008, thinks the game has simply become more bruising.
"The college game," Shea says, "has become rougher than the pro game."