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Old Fri Mar 28, 2014, 11:36am
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Article: MSHSAA investigates referee for potential conflict of interest

Unfortunately it sounds like a good official is being put through the ringer. I watched the 4th quarter as the naysayers (commenters in the article) requested and there was no conspiracy against Ladue that I saw. This is a good reminder to all of us that perception is everything and if there is even the smallest chance of a perceived conflict of interest then we have to understand that there is the potential for this to occur (right or wrong). Some of the commenters in the article do a great job of sticking up for the official which is not what I was expecting based on the majority of "commenters" in articles on the web. For the most part some very well written and intelligent comments which is unusual for the web . The news anchor is the biggest instigator/troll (I'm sure he's trying to drum up business).

Article: MSHSAA investigates referee for potential conflict of interest at Ladue-Hazelwood Central sectional

Video of the Game


Some of the comments after the article:

Quote:
Mike Weghorst
I watched the 4th quarter of the Central - Ladue on Prepcasts as suggested in one of these posts, and the first thing that I noticed was that there were 2 additional officials working the game as I thought that Mark Halsell was the only official assigned to this contest based on the previous comments (tongue in cheek). I charted every whistle in the 4th quarter and which official made the call ... referring to the officials as Halsell, Official #2 (tall white guy), Official #3 (short white guy) ... so here y'all go with the score being Ladue 46 - Central - 37:

- Foul on Central (Halsell)
- Foul on Central (Official #2)
- Foul on Central (Halsell)
- Central is Out of Bounds (Halsell)
- Foul on Ladue (Double whistle ... Halsell & Official #2)
- Travel on Ladue (Halsell) ... questionable ... could have been a held ball or foul on Central (occurs when score is 46-43 in video)
- Foul on Ladue (Double whistle ... Officials #2 & #3)
- Foul on Ladue (Official #3)
- Foul on Central (Halsell)
- Charging foul on Central (Halsell) ... questionable as it looked like a blocking foul on Ladue
- Foul on Central (Official #2)
- Central is Out of Bounds (Halsell)
- Ladue is Out of Bounds (Halsell)
- Foul on Ladue (Official #2)
- Clock Stop Foul on Ladue (Official #2)
- Clock Stop Foul on Ladue (Official #2)
- Clock Stop Foul on Ladue (Official #2)
- Clock Stop Foul on Ladue (Official #2)
- Foul on Ladue (Official #2)

- no significant “No-Calls” of note

- 5 fouls called on Central in the 4th quarter … 4 by Halsell
- 5 fouls called on Ladue in the 4th quarter … 1 by Halsell on a double whistle
- 4 Clock Stop fouls called on Ladue … none by Halsell

Please draw your own conclusions from these observations while here is my conclusion from an unbiased 45-year basketball player/fan who's not even from Missouri (i.e. no potential conflict of interest) ... the 4th quarter of this intense game was extremely well and fairly officiated with 2 questionable calls by Halsell ... one against Ladue and one for Ladue ... so that's a wash. The large disparity in team foul shot attempts is partly a result of the number of fouls that Ladue committed late in the game in order to stop the clock. Unfortunately for Ladue, Central made their free throws.

Bottom-line ... while there might be an appearance of a potential conflict of interest on the surface, it definitely and obviously was not in play during this contest in which the officials had no effect on the outcome as Hazelwood Central completely outplayed Ladue in the 4th quarter (32 - 6) due to a tough defense that resulted in numerous Ladue turnovers, better rebounding on multiple Ladue misses from the field and from the foul line, and more determined hustle that lead to easy points at their end of the court as Ladue looked spent ... and there is no litigation of which I am aware that can change all of that.

Paul Xm
Interesting, I didn't see where the HC grabbed my son and pulled him out of bounds and the call was out of bounds. You also left out where my son was shoved by two of the HC central players when he had the ball and he grabbed one of them pushing him and pulled him to the ground as he fell with them. The call? Traveling. (occurs when score is 46-43 in video) Your analysis also fails to take into account the "no calls", e.g., hand checks etc. that permeated the 4th quarter. Case in point: my 6'7" son shoots the ball, is hit hard and his shot is altered so badly that it sticks between the rim and the backboard. Call? Jump ball. Case in point: Cornell Johnston drives to the basket, leaps in the air and his path is altered 30 degrees due to the hard foul from the HC player. No call. Missouri refs were specifically instructed to call hand checks this year. Not too many called in this game. Why not just stop calling traveling as well?
Wes Mantooth (Lead Anchor at KQHS Channel 9 Evening News)
Mike, it would have been more helpful had you included the score and time for each of those calls. The bulk of the calls on Central occurred during the first couple of possessions. Then the refs swallowed their whistles. It wasn't until Central had the lead and all of the momentum that they started calling fouls again.

And as Paul noted, the bigger issue was the fouls that were not called. Even the announcers kept talking about how the refs were letting them play in the fourth quarter. Whose style of play did that favor?
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Old Fri Mar 28, 2014, 11:51am
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Love how Paul keeps harping on the word "potential" as if it means that he's really not making an allegation.

If it wasn't Facebook, I'd post about how Paul Xm is a potential child molester. Hey, it doesn't mean it's actually true, right?
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Old Fri Mar 28, 2014, 12:39pm
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17 point game with a 32-6 run and this is an official's fault.

Amazing.

The parent should be embarrassed.
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Old Fri Mar 28, 2014, 12:40pm
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Where were these parents when they played in December and no one said a thing about him officiating the game?
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Old Fri Mar 28, 2014, 12:46pm
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I wonder why it's OK for these parents to defame a person who's, obviously, a well-respected official.

He should sue them. That would be entertaining.
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Old Fri Mar 28, 2014, 05:17pm
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This situation certainly has been the talk of the local officiating scene lately. I have known Mark, the official in question, for over 20 years. He is a quality official and a quality person. In talking to him he was caught completely by surprise that this was even an issue. It never dawned on him that his association with an AAU club could create this sort of firestorm.
It will be interesting to see how MSHSAA proceeds with clarifying what is a conflict of interest.
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Old Fri Mar 28, 2014, 09:35pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLundagard View Post
It never dawned on him that his association with an AAU club could create this sort of firestorm...
On the surface, this looks like a lot ado about nothing. Quality veteran official being attacked by biased, bitter, overzealous parents. HOWEVER...The article states he is part "OWNER" of a program that had players in a game that he officiated. Ownership is a bit more than an "association" IMO. If that is in fact accurate, I can see how the "conflict" accusation arose.

My bet is that this is an AAU program. If so...more evidence that AAU generally causes more problems for officials than any other basketball organization.
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Last edited by Bad Zebra; Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 09:39pm.
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Old Fri Mar 28, 2014, 10:10pm
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The solution is simple.
Don't put yourself in such situations.
If you have a connection with players, a coach, or a school don't work the contest!
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Old Fri Mar 28, 2014, 11:51pm
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I'm sure the official is a fine official and a fine person, but...

It's the appearance of impropriety that causes the problem. There's a reason why at the NCAA level the ECAC asks us to fill out a form to show *any* relationship you may have with any of its member colleges (alum, kids, parents, relatives who are employees, relatives who are alums, etc). There's a reason why we have scratch lists at the HS level. Don't give anyone an excuse to question your integrity.

I gave up a GV playoff game this year because it involved my alma mater (my mistake for not making the school my one and only scratch) and I'm more than a few years removed from HS. It wasn't worth the potential headache.
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Old Sat Mar 29, 2014, 12:13am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt View Post
Love how Paul keeps harping on the word "potential" as if it means that he's really not making an allegation.

If it wasn't Facebook, I'd post about how Paul Xm is a potential child molester. Hey, it doesn't mean it's actually true, right?
I wouldn't do that. According to his Facebook he is a lawyer, which probably explains his ambiguous language.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BadNewsRef View Post
Where were these parents when they played in December and no one said a thing about him officiating the game?
Well the game then didn't mean as much of course!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Zebra View Post
The article states he is part "OWNER" of a program that had players in a game that he officiated. Ownership is a bit more than an "association" IMO. If that is in fact accurate, I can see how the "conflict" accusation arose.
Absolutely. This is a much more serious conflict of interest than that which a Forum member posted about earlier this season.
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Old Sat Mar 29, 2014, 12:16am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AremRed View Post
I wouldn't do that. According to his Facebook he is a lawyer, which probably explains his ambiguous language.
Like I said, I'm not--not that I care about a lawsuit, because it would not be successful (nor could he even successfully file one,) but because I prefer anonymity.
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Old Sat Mar 29, 2014, 10:19am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
17 point game with a 32-6 run and this is an official's fault.

Amazing.

The parent should be embarrassed.
Seriously.

I read through the comments and my biggest takeaway is that Paul Xm is a huge egomaniac who thinks he knows more than anyone else.
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Old Thu Apr 03, 2014, 02:34am
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I watched the game from beginning to end……any suggestion of officiating bias is completely unfounded. There is absolutely nothing that would lead an impartial observer (i.e. me) to suspect any wrong doing.

Time to move on.
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Old Fri Apr 04, 2014, 01:25am
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Agree Nevada. I'm not going to bother watching the game. I don't care if it was officiated fairly or not. What matters is the perception and if there was a conflict of interest and on the face of it a case can be made that he shouldn't have been officiating the game. Obviously the fans of the other team had problems with how the game was called.

He sounds like a good ref so I hope this issue can be addressed and people can move on from it. But it should not be repeated and the state/local association should clear that up.
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