Mark Cuban to Fund Research on Flopping

By Sarah Breuner

Apr 10, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban watches the Mavericks take on the Phoenix Suns at the American Airlines Center. The Suns defeated the Mavericks 102-91. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban announced via Twitter Friday that he will be funding an 18-month research study at Southern Methodist University to determine what qualifies as a flop or a true collision on the court.

After a long debate on whether or not the NBA needs to expand restrictions and penalties for flopping, Cuban’s company Radical Hoops Ltd. has decided to provide more than $100,000 towards ending the confusion on the subject.  The research aims to use video to figure out how to find a flop.

Is it a flop ? Let the scientists figure it out . im paying for the research to find…

— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) June 7, 2013

The study, to be performed by biomechanics experts at SMU, will focus on the physics during a player’s fall and the relationship between the force of a push and motion that follows.  While a great deal of research has been done on the elderly falling, very little has looked into how easily younger ages and athletes lose their balance.

Penalties for flopping were instated the 2012-2013 season, but NBA commissioner David Stern wants them to be increased.  The current penalties for flopping are a warning on the first violation, a $5,000 fine for the second, $10,000 for the third, and so on until a maximum $20,000 on the fifth offense, then a suspension on the sixth.  Because the average NBA player makes upwards of $5 million a year, many analysts said these fines do not make much of a difference in comparison to their salaries.  Stern said in the pre-NBA Finals news conference that the current cost of flopping “isn’t enough.”