The Huskies lost today to North Carolina, ending their season. The referees were not the reason the Huskies lost the game, late game turnovers were the cause, but the reasoning the officials are giving for not putting more time back on the clock are ridiculous. Via Percy Allen’s blog, we have these lovely quotes:
From the head official, Tracy Wolfson:
“I had a chance to speak with Doug Shows, who was the official during that last game between UNC and Washington, and he blew the whistle on the final shot,” she said. “He said that Lorenzo Romar did ask for verification, he then went to the table and the official of the clock who handled it said ‘he does not need to go to the monitor.’ They said that the call was right because it’s not when the ball hit the ground, but it’s when the whistle blows, and because of technology there is going to be an obvious lag.”
Then we have this follow up quote from the National Coordinator of men’s Basketball Officiating, John Adams:
ADAMS: “Officials may go to the monitor in that situation, by rule they are not forced to go to the monitor. Tracy had it right, the clock operator is supposed to stop the clock when the official signals the violation, which would have been watching the ball hit the floor, blowing your whistle, in other words recognize the play and have some human reaction time…We have all sorts of resources here in Atlanta and have reviewed this play a number of times, probably come down on the side of the fact that the referee blew the whistle right around the .8, .7 tenth of a second mark.
“We’ve reviewed this with the alternate. They felt that the officials got it exactly right on the court at the time they blew the whistle. I guess in retrospect I would feel like given the resources we had available and checking everybody and everything we had to check, I am not sure that even if we had gone to the monitor, which they certainly could have done, that the technology is good enough to try to figure out one tenth or two tenths of a second and trying to place when that whistle blew and when the clock should have stopped.”
Again, let me say that this didn’t really matter. The Huskies had lost the game by this point and it would have taken a miracle. But, I have a problem with these quotes. Everything they say is technically correct but it is also inconsistent with hundreds of basketball games that I’ve watched over the past couple years.
First of all, the ball landed out-of-bounds between 1.1 and 1.2 seconds on the clock. I believe if they had gone to the monitor they would have seen this clearly. Yes, you aren’t supposed to go by that, you’re supposed to go by when the officials arm comes up, but I’ve watched too many games where this has happened when it’s judged on when the ball comes down. Also, shouldn’t we go by what we know is exactly correct instead of a human delayed reaction? If they went by this rule, the official technically could have let the clock run out without putting his arm up and said that they got the call correct because his arm was never raised.
Secondly, don’t they think this game is important enough to go to the monitors. I understand that one guy was looking at it, but it’s not worth another look? This game sent someone to the sweet 16 and ended another teams season. I would have at least felt a little better if they stopped the game and took a look, even if they didn’t change anything.
Lastly, John Adams said that the technology might not be good enough to try to figure out a couple of tenths of a second. I couldn’t disagree more. I could tell by sitting on a couch, watching from 20 feet away on a 30-inch TV. The CBS guys had no trouble figuring it out after one look.
I don’t know what I’m looking for with this post. I know that it wouldn’t have changed much. The Huskies season is over and it’s not the officials fault. I just would have liked to hear the referees say they got it a little bit wrong, because everyone, excluding them, saw that they did.
More on the Huskies later, thanks for reading!