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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 05:41pm
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Calhoun and Whining

In both the UConn/UW game on Friday night, and the UConn/GMU game yesterday, coach Calhoun repeatedly turned and yelled and pointed at someone sitting toward the end of the scorer's table. Is that where the NCAA representative is sitting? Is that who Calhoun was screaming at? If so, anyone know if the NCAA will do anything about that? I just can't believe he was doing that so much...
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 05:55pm
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Yes, it was duly noted in both games and NCAA Tournament officials were not pleased. Craig Littlepage, Chair of the selection committee, was right there as well at the end of the table getting Calhoun's rant on the quality of officiating. The alternate officials sat down there as well. Don't be surprised if the NCAA addresses this matter in a couple of weeks with UConn when the tourney is over.

Also of note was some uneasiness by officiating supervisors/observers about the crew failing to deal with Calhoun once and for all for his behavior in the regional semi against Washington. Don't know how much the broadcast picked up, but he was out of control and got worse after Adams stuck him for that little stunt with the ball. Several people in the know down there felt like he should've been tossed for his continued behavior following the technical all the way through to the end of the game. It was that bad. For as much controversy that was generated with the foul calls and the possible missed goaltending, the displeasure at the table was mainly that the perception was created that Calhoun's histrionics had intimidated the crew.
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 08:13pm
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There was an article a couple of weeks ago on one of the major online sports pages -- ESPN, or cbssportsline or something -- from someone who sat behind the bench during a few of Connecticut's games. Apparently, Calhoun spends much of the game just blathering to anyone who will listen, including the media people or even fans, asking rhetorical questions and arguing about the officials. I tried to find the article to link it. I wonder whether he even knew it was Craig Littlepage? It's not appropriate and he has to stop it -- he should limit his ranting to his own bench, but I'm not so sure that it was calculated.

I kind of think the notion that there was a perception that he intimidated the crew in the Washington game and got favorable treatment, or that he should have been whacked a second time, are a little insulting to the crew. I believe that if they thought a second T was warranted, they would have called it, and those who argue that a crew at that level was intimidated into making particular calls are similar to those who take Billy Packer's word for the notion that a call was blown.

There was one moment in the game, though, that made me a little uncomfortable and did suggest that Adams and Calhoun should stay away from each other for a while. Washington up by 6 with about 2 minutes left -- missed UConn shot and Washington rebound. Connecticut player slaps the ball free, and Washington player grabs it with a foot on the line. Higgins (I think) has the call all the way. Adams comes over and initiates a conference, in which, if I'm reading lips correctly, he asks, "are you sure he didn't try to call time out," and Higgins pauses for a moment and gives him a look before shaking his head. Also, Adams was the official under the basket during the last play in regulation, where a Washington player missed a jumper to win the game. I perhaps was imagining it, but I usually watch the officials as much as the game action, and he looked, well, crestfallen in HDTV.
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Old Tue Mar 28, 2006, 09:43am
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I kind of think the notion that there was a perception that he intimidated the crew in the Washington game and got favorable treatment, or that he should have been whacked a second time, are a little insulting to the crew. I believe that if they thought a second T was warranted, they would have called it, and those who argue that a crew at that level was intimidated into making particular calls are similar to those who take Billy Packer's word for the notion that a call was blown.

As an official I agree with you, but those words were coming from tournament officials. I don't know who was there specifically to watch the officials, but there was discussion up and down the scorer's table about the situation. Everyone knows Calhoun has a penchant for rough language and is known to work the officials, but on Friday night he was particularly bad. After watching the game in person, I watched again on TiVo and the game broadcast missed about 75% of his theatrics. My own personal opinion is that they would've tossed him if it was a regular season contest. Calhoun was much less animated on Sunday, and I think the crew had a lot to do with that.
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Old Tue Mar 28, 2006, 09:56am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowStripes
[As an official I agree with you, but those words were coming from tournament officials. I don't know who was there specifically to watch the officials, but there was discussion up and down the scorer's table about the situation. Everyone knows Calhoun has a penchant for rough language and is known to work the officials, but on Friday night he was particularly bad. After watching the game in person, I watched again on TiVo and the game broadcast missed about 75% of his theatrics. My own personal opinion is that they would've tossed him if it was a regular season contest. Calhoun was much less animated on Sunday, and I think the crew had a lot to do with that.
Well, then other than being uncomfortable for that one game, that sounds as though it turned out to be a good situation, and could be an even better one if more is said to Connecticut after the tournament. I don't know enough about Calhoun to know whether he will take the stuff to heart -- I get the sense from what I've seen that this was a particularly frustrating year for him -- but if he doesn't, he'll only have himself to blame in the future. I bet you're right that he would have had a shorter leash during a regular season game. I don't have a problem with that, though. A travel is a travel whether in exhibition or in the final, but I think the T is an area where we want more officials' discretion about situation. The problem in the Washington/Connecticut game, as I saw it (on tv) was that Calhoun's behavior started to spread. Romar eventually got into the act, and they had let enough go with Calhoun that they were kind of hamstrung at that point. I don't know whether Adams and Higgins work together that much, but watching on tv, it seemed as though their styles of dealing with the coaches were a little contrasting.
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