Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Atlantic 10 officiating is bad

Charlotte 49ers coach Bobby Lutz found himself Wednesday night repeating something he had just recently said while talking of sophomore point guard Michael Gerrity playing his "best game yet" in Charlotte's 84-78 win.

I, too, find myself repeating things I have stated, sadly, quite often in the past.

To say Wednesday's night's game was badly officiated would be an understatement. It would be an affront to all the other badly officiated games this season in the Atlantic 10.

And when I say the officiating was bad, I mean it was bad on both ends of the court. Not just in Charlotte's favor or against the 49ers.

I will recount one incident from Wednesday's game, which to me, illustrates why this conference needs an overhaul in referees from top to bottom.

During the second half of Wednesday's game, while La Salle had possession of the ball under its basket and the ball was in play, official Frank Scagliotta turned and walked toward where I sat near halfcourt, next to an A-10 evaluator of officials (his name I don't have at the moment).

Scagliotta said looking at the evaluator, "Has Bobby been giving you (expletive) from across the court?"

The evaluator looked dumbstruck. He turned to me, looked down, then said softly, "No" and Scagliotta walked away.

This incident is bad for several reasons:
(a) The ball was in play and there was one less referee paying attention to what was transpiring on the court while La Salle was trying to score.
(b) I do not believe it is appropriate for any official to conduct a conversation at any time with someone who is not involved in the management of the game or players or a coach (it may also be a rule, I don't know).
And the most important:
(c) What was Scagliotta going to do if the evaluator had said "Yes?" Was he going to stop play and issue a technical on Lutz for something Lutz directed at someone other than the officials? Not to mention the information Scagliotta would be using to make such a call would come second-hand. Can you imagine what such a call would open up in the future?

The thought of that is scary and goes to show how much influence officials can have on the game, sometimes whether they intend to or not.

Everyone who is part of the A-10 knows the officiating is bad. It's been mentioned and written by numerous beat writers for schools in the league; it's openly joked about by the league's coaches.

With the conference rebounding this season with several ranked teams and playing an exciting brand of basketball, isn't it about time the conference put as much effort into improving itself as the schools have?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's right Jim! This is absurd and it just goes to show a10 refs are a joke. Every game at Halton this year has been a struggle with the refs. Keep up the great work you do for the University of Charlotte. It is great to actually have "real" coverage and someone who cares about the NINERS working at the Observer.

UNCCTF said...

Jim Utter FTW. The officiating in the A-10 is a joke in every sport. I didn't think it was great in C-USA but I'd give anything to have those refs back. Bad, bad, bad.

Anonymous said...

I agree, but why is it bad? All all NCAA refs paid the same per game? Are refs trained by each conference or the NCAA?

Anonymous said...

You nailed this. I've never seen so many bad calls in my life. Sometimes it seems like the refs get bored and have to blow their whistles to wake up. Can someone please explain to them that the game is what happens with the clock running. It shouldn't become a FT shooting contest.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU !!! Most game officials do not have a clue of its like to actually participate in a quality basketball game. Most of them have such ego's that that have to control the outcome of certain plays. If all the coaches and AD's in the conference got together and sent game tapes to the league office, showing some of the crap these guys call or DONT'T call, maybe it would make a difference !!! Some of these guys are worse han the Sun Belt used to be !

Anonymous said...

Amen. I have yet to see any officiating that is consistent throughout the course of a game... much less consistent from game to game. It can be very frustrating to watch so I can only imagine how frustrated the coaches get. A10 needs to fire them all and start over.

Jeffrey said...

I have seen high school and rec games better officiated than A-10 games. I have been watching basketball for decades, and these are the worse ref I have EVER seen. Sometimes the bad calls are just down right laughable.

Anonymous said...

I agree the officiating is poor, but the reality is that's college sports. Unless you're playing in any of the power conferences, and even then it's suspect, or the NBA, it will always be lacking. Plus that's the nature of officiating. They can't get everything right everytime, and as a fan quite often things are a bit skewed from that vantage point. That situation is inexcusable though, as for the state of officiating...par for the course.

Jeff said...

Yes, they can't always get everything correct but the in-consistantly is horrible !
But isn't it great two have two quality point guards...and both sophmores !!!

Anonymous said...

Officiating in the A10 has been awful... CYO level ...for the past 6 seasons. Please keep notes on officials from game to game and the good ones and horrible ones emerge with others being mostly consistent.

Jim Utter said...

As it turns out, I was sitting next to Jim Satalin, the coordinator of men's basketball officials for the A-10.

Jim Utter said...

Correction, it was not Jim Satalin, he was at St. Joe's/UMass. However, I did receive a call from Ray Cella, associate commissioner of the A-10 who is investigating the incident in question.

Anonymous said...

excellent. then something positive could come of this, and it would be worth it

FtMill49er said...

We need more 49er games on TV.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jim.. It looks like you screwed up again and misidentified the observer. How dare you not be as perfect as you expect the officials to be!!

To say "It's been mentioned and written by numerous beat writers for schools in the league" means nothing. What does a beat writer no about officiating a basketball game. Nothing!!! That being said, I am not saying that they are always right, after all, they ARE Human.

Jim Utter said...

The difference is I admitted I made a mistake.