Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is funding research into the practice of flopping.
Cuban is paying Southern Methodist University $100,000 to conduct an 18-month study to investigate whether or not video or other motion capture techniques can differentiate flops from genuine player collisions.
“The research findings could conceivably contribute to video reviews of flopping and the subsequent assignment of fines,” SMU biomechanics expert Peter G. Weyand said in a statement.
Cuban wrote on Twitter: “Is it a flop? Let the scientists figure it out . im paying for the research to find out.”
Meanwhile, NBA commissioner David Stern has requested the league to expand its anti-flopping rules.
He told reporters Thursday that more effective penalties for flopping will be discussed at next week’s NBA competition committee meeting in San Antonio.
The league currently fines players $5,000 for flopping following a video review. Five players were fined during the regular season but seven more have been levied a fine during the playoffs.
“It isn’t enough, it isn’t enough,” Stern said. “You’re not going to cause somebody to stop it for $5,000 when the average player’s salary is $5.5 million. And anyone who thought that was going to happen was allowing hope to prevail over reason.”
A player can be fined up to $30,000 for five violations and a suspended on the sixth, but no player has been assessed more than a $5,000 fine.
“We could end it immediately if we decided to suspend players,” Stern said. “But that might be a little Draconian at the moment.