Tuesday, February 17

NCAA, Your Attention Please...

In the past ten days, there have been (at least) three costly elbows thrown in ACC games. Two players, Miami's DeQuan Jones (video here) and Florida State's Solomon Alabi (video) were ejected from the game for the transgression. Duke's Kyle Singler, who threw his at the reigning National Player of the Year, was not. While, at first glance, this may appear as bias against teams from Florida, or simply the lower profile schools in the ACC, the actual problem lies in the NCAA rule book (big shock, there).

Singler's elbow came after the play and the officials saw the play and called it without a review. In the other two cases, it took a video review to determine what had transpired. Under the current NCAA rules, the officials must call either invoke the fighting penalty, resulting in a flagrant foul (with ejection) or nothing at all. Both players clearly were outside the rules of the game, therefore ejected. With no leeway to operate, refs are being forced to either lie (by saying nothing happened) or throw a player out when it's not necessary. In both cases, the opposing player was actively trying to bait the player and succeeded, but in neither case (despite Greg Paulus's and Chas McFarland's heroic flops) was the elbow nearly as brutal as the one Gerald Henderson threw at Tyler Hansbrough, but all received the same penalty and in the two most recent cases it hurt their team's chances to win far more than Henderson's did.

The NCAA should address this immediately or run the risk of forcing refs to eject a player during the NCAA tournament, potentially ending a team's season. If the referees were allowed to assess a technical foul (as they did against Singler) after video review, it would be better for all parties involved. In the event you think the NCAA is too busy, you should be reminded that just over a month ago they found time to issue a memo about tights extending below game shorts.

1 comment:

Cleet said...

The Paulus reaction made me angry when I watched it on tv, but that replay is simply comical.