With the football season over and March madness coming soon, I am reminded of how basketball ranks toward the bottom of sports in its response to rule violations. As the safety against the Patriots in the Super Bowl illustrated, penalties in football are tough. Same in ice hockey, where teams must compete short a player after an infraction. But in basketball, fouling is a common strategic option, making the last two minutes of some games interminable. It’s too easy for a team to benefit when an opponent lacks good shooters from the charity stripe. And it’s no answer to say that making free throws is part of the game. We shouldn’t put the burden on the victims of rule violations to even the score. Nor should we be sending our youth the message that breaking the rules is an acceptable tactic. Rather, basketball needs to punish fouls more severely. For example, after shooting its foul shots, a team could retain possession of the ball, as happens with some technical fouls.