The Consumer Price Index for all foodincreased 2.3 percent in 2000 and should rise about the same amountin 2001, say University of Georgia experts. After near-recordgrowth last year, beef and pork price increases are expected toslow. Other food items should see only small increases.”The slowing economy during the last quarter of 2000 is aforecast of a slower rate of economic growth during 2001,”said Bill Thomas, an agricultural economist with the UGA Collegeof Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Because farm commodities account for only 20 cents of eachretail food dollar, it’s more important to look at what’s happeningin the rest of the economy than to focus on farm prices,”Thomas said.What’s Driving Cost? Photo:USDA Americans can expect food prices to rise about 2 percent to 3 percent during 2001. Higher energy prices last year won’t necessarilytranslate into higher food prices, because transportation andenergy costs are small components of the total food marketingbill.”The total marketing bill equals 80 cents for every dollarconsumers spend on food,” Thomas said. “Transportationcosts are 4 percent and energy costs 3.5 percent of the marketingbill. If energy costs continue to be this high through 2001, another0.2 percent could be added to the rate of inflation in food.”Food price changes are a key to determining the portion of consumers’income that is spent on food. In 1999, consumers spent 10.4 percentof their household disposable income on food, with 6.2 percentfor food at home and 4.2 percent for food away from home. “During 2001, the long-run downward trend should continue,resulting in consumer expenditures for food amounting to only10.3 percent of their income,” Thomas said.Item-by-item CostThomas and other UGA economists make theseforecasts for individual food sectors:Meat Products: A booming economy continues to fuel demand for meatproducts, and overall meat prices were up 5.6 percent in 2000.Large meat supplies should limit gains to 3 percent to 4 percentin 2001.Fish and seafood: Prices should climb 2 percent to 3 percent in2001. A strong domestic economy is boosting sales in the restaurantand food-service sectors, which claim a growing share of totalseafood sales.Eggs: Prices will rise as much as 1 percent in 2001. Higherproduction levels and slower growth in exports have led to lowerretail prices the past four years.Dairy products: The CPI is expected to increase 1 percentto 2 percent in 2001. Strong consumer demand for gourmet ice cream,cheese and butterfat products, is expected to continue into 2001.Fresh fruits: It’s too early to know the full impact ofthe freezes in Florida on citrus prices. However, continued demandfor fresh fruits and normal production levels for major fruitsin the United States should boost the fresh-fruit CPI 2 percentto 3 percent in 2001.Fresh vegetables: After low farm prices in 1999, farmersreduced acreage in 2000, and prices climbed. Farmers took note, and shipments are expected to decline during 2001. Assuming normal weather and continued strong demand, the fresh-vegetable CPI should increase 2 percent to 3 percent in 2001.Processed fruits and vegetables: Adequate supplies of mostfruits and vegetables for processing is expected to limit theCPI increase to 2 percent to 3 percent in 2001.Sugar and sweets: Relatively low inflation, along withincreased production and lower retail for selected sugar-relatedfood items, is expected to limit the index increase to 1.5 percentto 2.5 percent in 2001.Cereal and bakery: With grain prices lower this year andinflation-related processing costs modest, the CPI is forecastto rise 2 percent to 3 percent. Most of the costs to produce cerealand bread products — more than 90 percent in most cases — arefor processing and marketing. Grain and other farm ingredientsaccount for a fraction of the total cost.Nonalcoholic beverages: The CPI is forecast to rise 2 percentto 3 percent. Prices of coffee and carbonated drinks, which accountfor 28 and 38 percent of the index, rose 3 percent (coffee) and4 percent (soft drinks) in 2000. Recent near-record arabica beanproduction in Brazil should lead to larger U.S. stocks and continuedmoderate consumer prices.
The most amazing thing about Tuesday night’s college basketball action, even more incredible than Duke’s comeback from a 23-point deficit, was that everyone watching on television got the identical picture of doom for “the Commonwealth’s” two top-25 teams.A television camera affixed to the top of the goal at Kentucky’s Rupp Arena showed everyone how LSU center Kavell Bigby-Williams scored the game-winning tip-in to beat the No. 5 Wildcats by knocking the ball into the goal as it rested on the rim from teammate Skylar Mays’ original attempt at the decisive basket. Bigby-Williams’ goal was not a legal play, but neither was it reviewable under NCAA basketball’s instant-replay rules. MORE: SN’s March Madness bracket projectionsSome 76 miles away, another TV camera on top of the backboard at KFC Yum! Center showed how Louisville guard Ryan McMahon’s left foot rested on the no-charge line as Duke freshman Cam Reddish barreled into him. Officials initially called it a charge, because McMahon clearly was in legal guarding position in advance of being contacted by Reddish. But the play can be reviewed using replay, and McMahon’s foot on the line allowed them to overturn the call to a block and award free throws to Reddish. He converted, and No. 1 Duke won, 71-69.It seemed incongruous, that one of these plays could be reviewed by replay and one could not.Because just as a defender’s presence inside the no-charge zone is not a subjective call but an objective one, so are the concepts of goaltending (when the defense blocks a shot that is directly above the goal or on its downward path) or basket interference (when an offensive player touches the ball as it rests on the rim or floats directly above the goal).The rim and the imaginary cylinder extending above it are as identifiable on video as the no-charge zone. As well, so is the moment when the ball begins its downward path on a shot attempt.When SMU was eliminated from the 2015 NCAA Tournament by UCLA on a disputed goaltending call, it was believed that controversy might spark the NCAA men’s basketball rules committee to use replay to establish whether the ball is inside or outside that cylinder in such circumstances.J.D. Collins, the NCAA’s coordinator of men’s basketball officiating, told Sporting News the members of the rules committee discussed this situation at its meeting two years ago and decided against it — and not without reason. There may be unintended consequences to making such a rule change.“Let’s say someone takes a shot, the ball’s in the air and the official says, ‘That’s goaltending.’ Then they review, and it wasn’t goaltending,” Collins said. “Now it’s a loose ball, so we go to the possession arrow, and the wrong team might get the ball. There are some outcomes to that, that are not intended outcomes.“I think everyone just said, ‘Why don’t your referees get it right?’”MORE: Kentucky star PJ Washington making up ground in All-America raceCollins said he expects the issue will be discussed at the committee’s meetings this spring. This is what is known as a “rules-change year”; the committee generally tries to make significant changes only biannually so that those new regulations that are put in place are given sufficient time to demonstrate their value. But it still might not make sense to make goaltending/basket interference reviewable.UK coach John Calipari reminded reporters after the LSU game that the NCAA changed the rule about whether a shot-clock violation was reviewable after the Wildcats were beaten in the 2015 Final Four with the help of a basket scored by Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes that might/might not have been released before the shot-clock expired.“They said it was not reviewable, and then they changed the rule to say: Why would you want to lose a game on a shot-clock violation and it’s easy to go check?” Calipari said. “Well, this one’s easy to go check, too. Just go check it. Why would you not? Why would that not be reviewable? So we’re like Wilt Chamberlain. We change rules.”It’s as easy as Calipari says — in the right circumstance. In the case of the Kentucky-LSU game, there would have been no problem. On review, Bigby-Williams’ play would have been overturned as an offensive basket interference call, and the Tigers and Wildcats almost certainly would have gone to overtime.But if an official blew the whistle in another game to signal for offensive basket interference without a goal being scored and a subsequent replay review showed the call to be incorrect, the same problem of establishing possession would arise. The possession arrow might point toward the defense at that moment, which would get the ball back even though the offense had done nothing wrong in its attempt to score.“It feels like what we have right now isn’t complete, but even if we change the rule, we might not complete everything and there’d be outcomes where it would be backward,” Collins said. “I think it’s complicated.”