Panel OKs move of 3-point line to 20 feet, 9 inches

An NCAA panel on Friday adopted a recommendation to move the men's 3-point line to 20 feet, 9 inches for the 2008-09 college basketball season.

The decision, by the playing rules oversight panel, marks the first major alteration to the 3-point shot since its adoption in 1986-87. The new 3-point line also must be a contrasting color to the current 19-9 3-point line, which women's college basketball is retaining.

While coaches had been in favor of the change, others said it would not solve crowding near the basket unless the free-throw lane was expanded as well.

The panel also said it adopted other changes proposed by the men's basketball rules committee. Those included eliminating the first lane space nearest the basket on each side and allowing officials to use courtside monitors to determine whether a flagrant foul has occurred, or which players may have played a role in an fight.

The new men's rule is for all three college divisions.

'"In recent years, the rules committee has conducted a great deal of research and held many discussions regarding the court markings," said panel chairman Rob Halvaks, senior associate commissioner of the Big West Conference. "The panel supports this action and hopes it has the committee's intended effect on the game."

ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz contributed to this report. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.