The time is here. NCAA basketball officials need a boss.
Alabama led LSU by 10 points with 2:52 to go in regulation on Saturday. In that time period, LSU went on a 10-0 run to send the game into overtime.
Also in that time, the officials called Alabama for five fouls and LSU for zero. Due to the number of Alabama’s foul calls, LSU shot nine free throws.
In those last three minutes, two key Alabama players, Levi Randolph and Moussa Gueye, fouled out of the game.
Outside of the usual mistakes a team makes throughout a game, Alabama played fine in that time frame. Yet, LSU tied the game and beat Alabama 97-94 after three overtimes.
On Tuesday, the Big 12 Conference released a public apology for what it calls “officiating errors” at the end of regulation during the Kansas at Iowa State game on Monday. The major error was a no-call on what should have been a charge on Kansas’s game-tying possession. Kansas eventually won the game in overtime.
Iowa State and Alabama are not alone in being on the losing end of a poor-officiated game. Matter of fact, poor officiating in college basketball surprises no one. Fans expect their team facing two opponents: the other team and the officials.
Referees receive punishment from a conference. The punishment may be no longer working that conference’s games. However, other conferences can still hire the referee. Conferences should not be the punisher of officials.
The NCAA needs to take charge of basketball referees. If Mark Emmert does not want the NCAA to control the officials, the conferences need to take more control. Football officials stand as a fine example for the conferences. Each conference has its own football officials, who answer to the conference’s coordinator of officials.
Why does basketball have to be different?
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