All About Big Sky Conference Balls – Footballs And Basketballs [YouTube]
There's no 'deflategate' controversy surrounding footballs and basketballs used in Big Sky Conference games.
Big Sky Conference Media Coordinator Jon Kasper said the topic of proper inflation of footballs has never come up in his tenure, even though he did discover some interesting research on the subject.
"I'm looking at the NCAA rule book right now, and they need to be inflated to a pressure of 12.5 to 13.5 pounds," Kasper said. "I know the NCAA officials check the balls a couple of hours before the game. Each home team is required to have at least 12 game balls."
Kasper, a former reporter for the Missoulian newspaper, said that even though all NFL footballs are one brand, the NCAA allows schools to select different brands.
"At the college level, some schools use Wilson balls, while others use Nike balls," he said. "For that reason, I think it's easier to tell if something is wrong because all the balls have the home school logo on them. I didn't even know that each team provided their own balls in the NFL. I assumed because they all use the same ball that the NFL would provide the balls for each game."
Kasper said, as a former quarterback, he disputes the claims that the Patriots had nothing to do with the issue of 'deflated balls'.
"As a former quarterback, I think there is an advantage to having a slightly deflated ball," Kasper said. "They are easier to throw, and easier to catch. If you're carrying the ball, you can tuck it in tighter so it's much moer difficult to strip out and cause a fumble. I think it's crazy to think that if 11 of the 12 balls that the Patriots used in that game were under inflated, and that for the Colts, none of their balls were under inflated, something was going on. It wasn't just the weather, or rubbing the ball or whatever Mr. Belichick said in his press conference on Saturday. I think most of the quarterbacks in the NFL would want the ball at its lowest possible inflation at 12.5 pounds."
Kasper also discussed the unusual situation of Big Sky Conference officials not being aware that men's basketballs were being used in a Montana versus North Dakota women's game.
"The men's basketball is clearly larger," he said. "It's 29.5 inches in diameter, while the women's ball is 28.5 inches. That's kind of surprising to me because the officials do come out and check the ball when its placed on the scoring table. I've seen officials check the air pressure, they bounce it and they roll it to make sure it's completely round. In fact, the women's ball is clearly marked that it's 28.8 inches."
Kasper said that KGVO was the only media outlet to call his office regarding the issue of 'deflategate' and if there had been any issues with Big Sky Conference games.