Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Did the referee really ask that?

Let me set the stage: Shortly into the second half of the Charlotte 49ers' 72-68 win over George Washington, referee Mike Eades whistled the 49ers for a foul while the teams were battling for an offensive rebound. Eades claimed the foul was on George Washington player Lasan Kromah.

Before Kromah went to the line, Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz, as well as point guard DiJuan Harris, continued to ask Eades to make sure it was Kromah that was the player fouled. They believed it was another GW player.

Kromah was allowed to go ahead and shoot the first free throw, which he made. Lutz continued to tell Eades the wrong player was shooting free throws and that's when the most bizarre episode took place I have witnessed in the hundreds of college basketball games I have covered.

Before Kromah could take his next shot, Eades walked into the lane, stood in front of Kromah face-to-face and asked him if he was the player fouled. Kromah said 'Yes' and was allowed to take his second shot, which he hit.

Now under the rules, referees have a responsibility to determine whether the correct player is shooting free throws and are encouraged to look at replays to make sure the call is right. However, Wednesday's game was not on TV and there was no replay available.

By the rules, the matter should have ended there. No replay, no change in the call.

Instead, what Eades decided to do was this: Ask a player of a visiting team, standing in the middle of an arena of screaming fans, in a see-saw game to tell the world whether he intentionally was taking free throws that were meant for another player.

Now, I don't know Lasan Kromah. He may be the most honest college basketball in the world. But I do know this: Eades didn't know Kromah's character any better than I did. And interrogating players about whether or not they were fouled and should be shooting free throws in no way should be a part of the game. What answer would anyone expect to hear?

To be fair, I submitted a question to Eades after the game. According to rules, media may ask questions of officials but they must be submitted by a disinterested third party. I wrote down my question, which was this: "Did referee Mike Eades ask George Washington player No. 20 if he was the player that was fouled?" Tom Whitestone, the assistant athletic director for the 49ers, found a third party and submitted the question. And I got a reply.

Here is Eades' response in its entirety. I will let it speak for itself and you decide whether his answer describes actions that should be a regular part of college basketball games.

Eades: "Initially, we were all confident No. 20 was the player fouled. We lined up to shoot the free throw and he shot the first one. At that point, someone from the crew noticed Bobby (Lutz's) reaction. We conferred as a group. There was no monitor available. We then asked No. 20 if he was the shooter and he said he was. We accepted the answer and did the best we could."

THURSDAY UPDATE: I suspected this Wednesday night but waited to make sure it was correct before writing. A-10 assistant commissioner Stephen Haug confirmed that if a player did intentionally “shoot” a free throw for another player, an unsportsmanlike technical could be assessed, or the player could be given a warning.

So, had Kromah actually admitted to not being the player fouled (he was asked AFTER he had taken one free throw), and was being completely honest, he risked receiving a technical foul for his honesty. Again, what answer would be expected?

23 comments:

Leslie said...

I was absolutely floored when I saw that referee go up to the player and ask if he was the player that was fouled. Just one of the many "brain dead" calls from this officiating crew tonight.

punkrockcowboy said...

Horrible reffing tonight, and I hate hate hate it when people get on the refs constantly, but tonight it was warranted.

J said...

Remember, we're talking about Atlantic 10 refs - the worst set of officials at any level of basketball, and it's not even close. Not too surprising.

Anonymous said...

If I remember right, Mike Eades is the ref who had his fly down the whole game a couple years back?

I will say, that is just ridiculous. I know sometimes refs make some foul calls and it goes both ways. Its part of the game.

But this guy ASKED THE PLAYER IF HE FOULED? How is that ref'ing? If that is what refs do, then stick a monkey out there and let him ask who fouls on every play.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering the whole time why this was a shooting foul. They were battling for a rebound and he gets 2 shots? I very well could have missed something from my upper level seats at Halton though...

Anonymous said...

To be quite honest it is about time that the A10 provide replay in all league games not just the ones on T.V. The officials would have been able to look at the replay and seen who the actual shooter should have been instead of asking.

Anonymous said...

To be quite honest it is about time that the A10 provide replay in all league games not just the ones on T.V. The officials would have been able to look at the replay and seen who the actual shooter should have been instead of asking.

MaxPower said...

I for one welcome the new honor officiating system.

Anonymous said...

The game was available for you on the Niner Network. They provide highlights of the game in post-game with Matt's radio call and they provdie a "Play of the Game" rewind, too. I am sure there was a way to check a replay.

Anonymous said...

That entire league is a joke! Lutz should have been given a technical for harassing the refs!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah great honor system. Ref: "Did you foul?" Player: "Nope." Total foul count on both sides for every game: ZERO ... Idiot posters

Anonymous said...

There are no "A10 refs", college basketball is not like college football. The officials don't work for a specific conference.

Anonymous said...

I watched the game on Channelsurfing.net. The game was also shown on cbs sports online for subscribers. I would think there would be a way to replay this, shoulden't there always be a way to replay...

Anonymous said...

It was in-house internet feed, not TV coverage.

former ref said...

Was not at the game...hate I missed it.

A few comments as a former referree with 15 years experience in High School and NCAA D2.

Again this is only from the Gold Mine story and comments.

Typically when a crew blows a play or the complete game it is because they do not communicate. It is the responsibility for your fellow officials to insure they know who the shooter is following a shooting foul. In most cases something like this happens on a crash play where there are extracurricular activites going on(pushing and shoving) that you lose focus. Not having the replay puts them in a bad situation of having to 1-see who steps to the line hoping it is the right player or 2-guess. The more time that lapses the worse it looks as in this case. Sounds like they did the only thing they could do in this situation because if he had admitted to being the wrong player he could have been charged with a T...unless the officials sent him to the line thinking he was the shooter. It is a correctable error but they must have definite knowledge to make a change. The lapse in time was their nemesis.

Either way sounds like something within the crew was not right. They have to work together and communicate extremly well or you get disasters such as this.

Unfortunately today one official works for several conferences. It is unfortunate but not being a top tier league means these games are not as big as what these guys may have called a night or two before in the Big East, Big 10, ACC..... If they were not mentally ready for a good game things like this happen.

It is imperative that any game they go into on a given night that they undertand that to the players and staff, amongst others, the most important game going on that night is the one they are in and this should be the focus of their pregame discussion.

Just my 2 cents.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I think this referee crew should be reprimanded, much like an SEC referee crew that made horrible calls in the Florida-Arkansas and LSU-Georgia games this past season was suspended.

Leslie said...

The GW player should have never been shooting a free throw during this scenario...there is no way that it was a shooting foul and they were not in a 1 and 1 situation yet.

What about the call where the GW player was standing out of bounds by at least 2 feet when he threw the ball back in and it bounced off of Spears who was on the ground and the ref attempted to say it was out on Charlotte. Luckily, one of the refs actually saw the play and changed the call.

I have been to most of the home games over the last 12 years and that was one of the worst officiated games that I have seen in Halton arena. I agree with "former ref", the officiating crew had something going on and there was a definite communication breakdown last night.

I had a client with me at the game that had no affiliation with either team and she even made a comment that it looked like the refs were controlling the game to keep GW ahead.

Regardless of the referees calls, the NINERS came out on top in a game that they had to fight until the very end. I will definitely be back on the 17th for the next home game...I hope you will be there too.

Anonymous said...

That referee officiates ACC games too. I'm still baffled how anyone would want him officiating their games.

Anonymous said...

La Salle got screwed in their last 2 games (see lasalle-explorers.com). The A10 needs to be investigated as they attempt to boost the win totals of what they consider "top tier" teams in order to get more NCAA bids... this is not fair to teams trying to get a bye for the A10 tourney.

Jon said...

That was the most poorly managed game in Halton in a long time. I thought last week was bad but they look talented compared to Eades and his crew. I think they were consistently bad for both teams, out of bounds, correct offender, correct shooters, blocks/charge calls. They didn't get many right.

The A-10 needs to look into this. They should review the games, tape all of them.

Anonymous said...

Was #20 the one who should have been shooting the free throws, now that there has been some replays?

Anonymous said...

There are no replays. Unless there is tape that Charlotte itself made of the game.

Anonymous said...

Fells, FYI.....Eades is a respected official in the ACC and Big Ten......bad calls are made...if no monitor was there for replay I think speaks of the programs involved