Well At Least They Are Upstanding Citizens

From Caulton Tudor at the N&O:

PINEHURST – There are 102 people on the ACC’s football officiating roster and about 70 on the league’s list of basketball refs.

All have undergone what commissioner John Swofford terms an extensive character check by an investigative service hired by the conference.

Yet Swofford worries.

Amid allegations that NBA official Tim Donaghy is the subject of an FBI gambling probe, these are restless days in the sports world. Donaghy is the son of former ACC basketball official Gerald Donaghy.

“It scares you to death,” Swofford said. “You hope and pray, and do everything humanly possible to try to get the very best, most upright people you can. The integrity of sports rests with the people in charge of presiding over the games and in charge of making sure it’s a fair game.

Just so we are crystal clear.  When ACC officials make horrendous calls it is not because they are cheaters and on the take.  It is because they are incompetent.

I suppose it is better than nothing.

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8 Responses to Well At Least They Are Upstanding Citizens

  1. josh bowling says:

    I have a disagreement with Swofford and others that share his sentiments. It is not the job of the officials to make sure it is a “fair game”. It is their job to enforce the rules of the game as are outlined in the rule book. It disturbs me when I hear officials say things like “it is their job to make sure that the game has a good flow” or “it is my job to make sure the game is fair for both teams”. No officials, it is not your job. Those are the jobs of the TEAMS involved in the game!! It is your job to enforce the rules of the game, and that ONLY!!

  2. josh bowling says:

    Another thing. If it is truly so that their job description includes more than just officiating the rules of the game, and that they should make sure the game is fair for all involved or to make the game as entertaining as possible, then we need to change their name from Officials to Conductors, or Officials to Spokesmen. Because if their job entails all that, then they are more than Officials.

  3. Tar Heel Fan says:

    I agree but I would not lay that totally at the feet of the officials. Remember the OSU-Gtown national semifinal last season? The hue and cry from the media columnists that the refs “robbed” basketball fans of the opportunity to see Hibbert vs Oden by calling early fouls was deafening. The backlash from that came in the title game when the refs basically let Oden do what he wanted, including hanging on the rim on every dunk.

    I heard an NBA ref on ESPN radio today who said refs need to react to what they see instead of think about it or stop trying to guess the call if the view gets obstructed. That is the only way to ensure they are calling what they see based on the rules not attending to things like game flow, superstars or what not.

  4. josh bowling says:

    I totally agree THF. If officials can be swayed or intimidated by media columnist, then how much more can they be swayed by on the court coaches/players? And are we victims of this more so than beneficiaries of this?

  5. Chris says:

    A few observations about ACC officials or any officials in basketball or football in the major conferences. First, they’re not incompetent. These officials are kept under a pretty tight rein, and are subject to review via video of almost every decision they make. Second, it’s a tough job. Put yourself in their shoes, having to make virtually split-second decisions under the microscope of extremely biased onlookers. Third, you can call it game flow or whatever, but I don’t believe that any of them are out there with a specific agenda. I think the real truth is that we disagree with their calls from time to time, not that they are incompetent. Step out onto the floor and try it yourselves sometime…………..it’s ain’t easy and is probably one of the hardest jobs there is for which the pay is relatively little.

  6. josh bowling says:

    I agree Chris, although I do not see how it being a difficult task or pay have to do with anything. Hell, the guy who picks up my trash every week has a difficult job with low pay, but he does an excellent job at it, and chooses to do so with other opportunities he could persue. I can understand how if pay is little, there may be other incentives for which you do the job, which would play into the hands of someone who wants to create an argument that more may go on in a game than mere officiating. Given what you have said Chris, I agree that they are people just like us, subject to the same human error and all of the other imperfections, but you can’t deny that they may also have a favorite team just like you and I do as well.

  7. Tar Heel Fan says:

    I understand it is hard and by no means am I asking for perfection. That being said, there are enough incidents out there to make me think their level of competence if somewhat in question. And I am talking about stuff like the clock issue in the Duke-Clemson game, the failure to review the Akron TD versus NC State or any use of the instant replay for that matter. I actually think they get a good portion of spilt second calls correct. They show themselves to be a little clueless when they actually have to think or interpret a situation. I also think there are instances where refs call a game a “certain way.” and inside of that they will change from one half to the next how they are calling the game.

    On one level, yes they will make mistakes but on another level there are some inexcusable things that go on which is somewhat maddening to watch as a fan.

  8. Chris says:

    With all the millions and millions of calls made by refs across the country on any given weekend, I’m surprised that more examples of “bad” calls aren’t made. It’s a job that I wouldn’t want regardless of pay level. I yell at the refs when at a ball game as much as anyone else, but when I sit back and get rid of the emotion I think they do a great job. Now TV commentary and Billy Packer are a different issue…………..

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