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Old Sun Feb 04, 2007, 09:26am
BoomerSooner BoomerSooner is offline
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I actually watched the game live on the duece out here in OK (I was flipping between the end of that and the Kansas-Texas A&M game, which was a great game). Anyway, with only about 8-9 seconds left and Hawaii down 1, the ball came to a Hawaii player in the low post, and the Nevada player having a foul to give stared pulling jersey, swinging at arms, anything he could do to get a call. To start it looked like every bit of an intentionaly foul to me. The Nevada player actually pulled him down by his jersey. Nonetheless, L was straitlined and didn't see the initial grab of the jersey, so he didn't call anything until the Hawaii player had grabbed the ball and threw it toward the basket in desperation (most likely knowing that he had to be in the act of shooting to be awarded FT's, he was just trying to make it look like an attempt). The ball eventually ended up going in and because he missed the initial grab and pull of the jersey, he counted the basket.

This is where Nevada's coach rips off his jacket, goes toe to toe with the calling official who is now at the table to report the foul. IMO, he did everything he could to earn a T, regardless of whether or not the call was right or wrong. I obviously don't know what all was said, but the non-verbal aspect of the situation was enough for me to come to that conclusion.

Eventally the calling official decides to get together with his crew and sort this out. As they discuss, the ESPN2 analyst catches on the replay that C had actually raised his fist to signal a foul on the intial jersey grab and pull. They even made a comment to the effect of - now the officials have to decide who called the foul first and whether it was on the shot. IMO, a rare example of good analyst analysis with regard to the officials. Following the discussion, they go with the C's early foul call as a common foul, no bonus, no FT's, Hawaii ball out on the side. The ensuing inbound resulted in a blocked 3Pt try, a Hawaii recovery, another shot from the elbow, and a final rebound as the light lit on the backboard and a lay-in a second too late.

IMO, the situation should have come down to an Intentional Foul on Nevada and a T on Nevada's coach for the tirade. I do think they got it right that the foul happend well before the Hawaii player was in the act, so no basket no FT's was the right call there. I think the biggest mistake that was made was that C didn't close down on the foul as soon as he made it. I know there are some that don't ever close down on foul, but given the grab and pull aspect of the foul, I'd have been in there ASAP had I been in C's position out of an expectation of some extra activity. This might have at least drawn some initial discussion between C and L before a basket was actually awarded. Ultimately, now that I give it further consideration, I think the biggest mistake was a lack of communication, but the C could have fostered some discussion by getting in there immediately. (Side-note: I realize that this may sound overly critical of the officials, but I make the communication comment with the realization that this is something that requires a ton of work for me in my officiating career and from other guys I've talked to, it is a point of emphasis for them in their games as well. It's probably one of the toughest aspects for me.)

I think the whole situation comes out looking ugly because of the initial confusion and the tirade by the Nevada coach, but this was a situation that I think was handled well with the exception of my judgement on IF's and T's being a little different. But heck maybe that's why I'm not a D1 official.
My job is a decision-making job, and as a result, I make a lot of decisions." --George W. Bush
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